Originally published on LinkedIn by Dietmar Berger, Global Head of Development & CMO and Frank Nestle, Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi
The start of a new year is always a special time for the biopharmaceutical industry. With the J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference starting today, biopharma companies like Sanofi will share important pipeline updates and forecasts for the year ahead.
Before we look ahead to 2021, we want to reflect on the unprecedented year we just left behind. Of course, Sanofi spent much of 2020 rising to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, working diligently and with speed to develop multiple vaccine candidates, while also progressing our research and development programs. In the midst of the pandemic, 2020 was a year of increasing focus as Sanofi executed against our new research and development strategy to make an impact in diseases with high unmet needs in immunology and inflammation, oncology, neuroscience, rare disease and vaccines. Both by necessity and design, we reinvented how we work, prioritizing faster and more rigorous decision-making and urgency of execution in the pursuit of medical breakthrough therapies.
For Sanofi, 2021 has the potential to be transformative. During this year’s virtual JPM conference, we’re excited to share how we have continued to expand the druggable universe by further building out our technology platforms and diverse modalities that allow us to address a range of disease challenges with a set of novel tools. Through the application of cutting-edge science, we are creating new synthetic biology solutions for the drugs of the future and using cell and gene therapy for tackling both common and rare diseases. We are also leveraging our long heritage in antibodies and oncology to fuel breakthrough work in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), pursuing with determination a development path in solid tumors. We are expanding our knowledge of fundamental disease biology in areas such as cancer and type 2 inflammation, with the goal of innovating more effectively or studying mechanisms of resistance to understand inadequate treatment response and new ways to help more patients.
Sanofi has also continued to advance innovation thanks to our business development and partnership strategy. After acquiring Synthorx, its synthetic biology platform and its non-alpha IL-2 molecule and partnering with Revolution Medicines on the development of cancer drugs against SHP2, we advanced our research in cancer toward a potential best-in-class portfolio. We’re continuing to expand our state-of-the-art technologies in selected therapeutic areas through our recent partnerships and acquisitions, including Kiadis’ K-NK cell “off the shelf” cell therapy platform for cancer, Principia’s BTK inhibitors for a range of inflammatory diseases including multiple sclerosis and pemphigus vulgaris, Kymera Therapeutics’ IRAK4 protein degrader approach for immuno-inflammatory diseases, and Translate Bio’s mRNA vaccine platform.
These investments in science drive our pipeline and help us make significant progress in our efforts to deliver the next generation of life changing medicines. In 2021, we’ll continue to pursue important advancements in our robust pipeline, including key milestones for our priority assets and beyond. We also hope to receive a number of key regulatory approvals this year as we work to bring our medicines to new and expanded patient populations.
At our JPM presentation, Sanofi will highlight in more detail our progress in the past year as well as the outlook for our pipeline. We look forward not only to sharing our updates, but also to learning of the advancements made by our industry colleagues across biopharma as we all set our sights for continued innovation in 2021. Indeed, taking into account recent progress on COVID-19 vaccines and the united efforts of the biopharma and scientific community, there’s no better year to celebrate the significant impact that science can have on society and look ahead with optimism to a bright future.