On its way for an IPO: mRNA platform, Moderna, Immune Oncology is recruiting 100 new Life Scientists in Cambridge, MA
Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN
Moderna has now raised $1.9 billion from investors like AstraZeneca – 9% stack [AstraZeneca’s Pascal Soriot helped get that all started with a whopping $240 million upfront in its 2013 deal, which was tied to $180 million in milestones.], with another $230 million on the table from grants. In addition to the financing announcement this morning, Moderna is also unveiling a pact to develop a new Zika vaccine, with BARDA putting up $8 million to get the program started while offering an option on $117 million more to get through a successful development program.
Novel Strategy in Biotech:
in biotech. Instead of grabbing one or two new drugs and setting out to gather proof-of-concept data to help establish its scientific credibility, the company has harvested a huge windfall of cash and built a large organization before even entering the clinic. And it did that without turning to an IPO.
- The deal with AstraZeneca covers new drugs for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases as well as cancer.
- partners filed a European application to start a Phase I study of AZD8601, an investigational mRNA-based therapy that encodes for vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A)
- Moderna CEO spelled out plans to get the first 6 new drugs in the clinic by the end of 2016.
- The first human study was arranged for the infectious disease drug mRNA 1440, which began an early stage study in 2015.
- Moderna built up a range of big preclinical partnerships.
- CEO Bancel says the number of drugs in development has swelled to 11, with the first set of data slated to be released in 2017.
- Moderna also plans to add about 10 drugs to the clinic by next summer,