French drug maker Sanofi (SNY) said it would invest about 400 million euros (476 million dollars) annually to accelerate research and development of next generation vaccines by launching an mRNA Center of Excellence.

The Center will bring together about 400 dedicated employees integrating end-to-end mRNA vaccine capabilities with dedicated R&D, digital, and chemistry, manufacturing and controls teams across sites at Cambridge, MA (US) and Marcy l'Etoile, Lyon (France).

Also, the Center will enable advancing of the vaccines mRNA portfolio developed through the Translate Bio collaboration established in 2018 and expanded in 2020.

Jean-Francois Toussaint, global head of research and development, Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement: "During the Covid-19 pandemic, mRNA technologies demonstrated potential to deliver new vaccines faster than ever before."