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Baidu Partners with Sanofi on Vaccine Development

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Baidu (BIDU) has achieved a significant milestone as it seeks to leverage computational biology strengths in enhancing mRNA vaccine and therapy designs. The company has reached an agreement that will see Sanofi (SNY) integrate Baidu’s mRNA design optimization platform, LinearDesign, into Sanofi’s product design pipeline. BIDU shares fell 2.61% to close at $147.81 on November 22.

Baidu is a Chinese AI and internet company that offers internet related services and online marketing solutions. The company operates through Baidu Core and iQIYI segments.

Baidu- Sanofi Partnership

The integration will pave the way for Sanofi to use the LinearDesign platform to optimize mRNA sequences in human therapies and in preventive uses. While mRNA technology has significantly enhanced the science behind drugs and vaccine development, its integration into computational biology is poised to make the process much faster.

According to Baidu Vice President Tian Wu, merging computational biology and mRNA technology will go a long way toward transforming the process of drug discovery. Additionally, partnering with Sanofi on this endeavor will go a long way in bringing life safe saving mRNA therapies and vaccines to the masses. (See Top Smart Score Stocks on TipRanks)

One downside to mRNA technology is that its gives rise to vaccines that are difficult to store and distribute. However, merging it with the Baidu LinearDesign has significantly improved the stability of Spike protein-encoding mRNA.

Baidu Stock Rating

Last Week, UBS analyst Jerry Liu reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and lowered the price target to $220 from $240, implying 48.84% upside potential to current levels. According to the analyst, the company boasts of tremendous opportunities in cars and the cloud despite the near term ad weakness.

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy, based on 12 Buys and 1 Hold. The average Baidu price target of $250.91 implies 69.75% upside potential to current levels.

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