CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 5, 2015 -- Moderna Therapeutics, a pioneer in the development of messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics™, announced today that it has raised $450 million in new funding to support the further expansion of its mRNA Therapeutics™ platform across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas. Since the company's founding in 2011 by Flagship VentureLabs™, Moderna has secured more than $950 million in funding through financing activities and commercial partnerships.
This funding round, Moderna's largest to date, will be used to further accelerate drug discovery and development across a series of drug modalities and therapeutic areas, each powered by Moderna's proprietary approach for utilizing modified mRNA to instruct native cellular machinery to make therapeutic proteins in vivo. To continue to drive these programs forward, Moderna plans immediate growth and expansion, including the addition of more than 100 industry leaders, drug development experts and scientists to its current team of 145 employees during the coming months.
Participating in the financing round were new investors Viking Global Investors LP, Invus, RA Capital Management, and Wellington Management Company, LLP, as well as existing investors AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Additional existing investors participated in the financing.
"The strong support from our investors is a testament to the incredible work done by our team over the past three years in unlocking the potential of mRNA Therapeutics to drive transformational advances for patients," said Stephane Bancel, president and CEO of Moderna. "With $800 million in cash after this financing, we are moving rapidly to support the exponential growth of our mRNA Therapeutics platform with new investments, partnerships and ventures, and are committed to recruiting the best industry talent to support this growth at all levels, including bench scientists, seasoned drug hunters and leaders for our new ventures."
Together with partners AstraZeneca, Alexion and DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), Moderna is in active development of 45 preclinical programs in oncology, cardiovascular disease, rare diseases, and infectious diseases. These include programs underway at Onkaido, a Moderna venture focused exclusively on oncology, and at other therapeutically-focused ventures in development. In addition, Moderna is investing in early-stage drug discovery and development through its long-term strategic collaboration with Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Karolinska University Hospital (KUH), announced in October 2014.
For more information on Moderna Therapeutics, including how messenger RNA works, partnership opportunities, and open job opportunities, visit www.modernatx.com.
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is pioneering messenger RNA Therapeutics™, an entirely new in vivo drug technology that produces human proteins, antibodies and entirely novel protein constructs inside patient cells, which are in turn secreted or active intracellularly. This breakthrough platform addresses currently undruggable targets and offers a superior alternative to existing drug modalities for a wide range of disease conditions. The company currently plans to develop and commercialize its innovative mRNA drugs through a combination of strategic relationships as well as newly formed ventures, including Onkaido LLC, focused on oncology drug development. Founded by Flagship VentureLabs™, Cambridge-based Moderna is privately held and currently has strategic agreements with AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals. www.modernatx.com.