Who We Are
Moderna is a clinical stage pioneer of messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics™, an entirely new in vivo drug technology that directs the body’s cells to produces human proteins, antibodies and novel protein constructs, which are in turn secreted or active intracellularly. Founded in 2011, we are headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.
Our Team and Mission
We currently have over 500 team members, an exceptional group of scientists and industry professionals who are wholly committed to advancing Moderna’s mission: deliver on the promise of mRNA science to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients.
Our mRNA Technology Platform
mRNA carries instructions copied from DNA, which cells use to make proteins. Proteins perform virtually every biological function in the human body. Most diseases occur when too much or too little of a certain protein is produced.
Our mRNA technology acts as cellular software, directing the body’s cellular machinery to produce nearly any protein of interest. By getting inside the cell and getting the body to produce intracellular proteins, we can go after diseases that today aren’t druggable with small molecule drugs or biologics.
Rather than giving the body proteins as medicines, we give the body the genetic code (via mRNA) to produce its own proteins and become the factory for its medicine.
Our Strategy and Ecosystem
Our strategy is to advance a broad array of mRNA drugs for many diseases simultaneously in order to deliver on the promise of mRNA science for patients as quickly as possible. To execute on this strategy, we have built a unique ecosystem model that enables shared learnings and parallel progress.
For each of our therapeutic areas of focus, we are advancing an internal pipeline of mRNA drugs through our wholly owned ventures and have also established strategic partnerships with leading pharma and biotech companies, as well as government organizations, foundations and research institutes. Our New Venture Labs is focused on exploring new therapeutic applications for our mRNA technology platform.
Our current ventures include: Onkaido, focused on oncology; Valera, focused on infectious diseases; Elpidera, focused on rare diseases; and Caperna, focused on personalized cancer vaccines. We currently have strategic agreements with AstraZeneca, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
The Leader in mRNA Therapeutics
With our scientific understanding of mRNA Therapeutics continuing to grow at an accelerated pace, we are investing heavily across the full breath of competencies needed to drive our platform forward, including chemistry, mRNA biology, formulation, automation and high-throughput production, process development, quality and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) mRNA clinical manufacturing.
Our Pipeline and Early Development Engine
We currently are advancing 12 mRNA development candidates, including vaccines and therapeutics, across three therapeutic areas: infectious diseases, immuno-oncology and cardiovascular disease. Clinical studies for five of these candidates (four mRNA vaccines and one mRNA therapeutic) are already underway in the U.S., Europe and Australia, with seven other development candidates advancing toward the clinic. In addition, we have several research programs advancing to the development stage. In the coming months and years, Moderna and our partners anticipate conducting many clinical studies across our therapeutic portfolio in parallel.
To support and manage this anticipated breadth of clinical studies, we are building a sophisticated, highly integrated early development engine designed to deliver the highest quality mRNA drugs from candidate nomination through to human proof-of-concept (PoC) data. A key component of our early development engine is our planned 200,000 square foot Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) mRNA clinical manufacturing facility in Norwood, Mass. Anticipated to open in 2018, this facility will enable the manufacture, quality, control and supply of clinical grade mRNA therapies and vaccines for Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) toxicology studies as well as Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies. At the site, we will carry out all manufacturing activities—from raw material production to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), formulation, filling and finish.