Moderna Therapeutics Inc. has deliberately been playing its cards close to the vest, yet evidence is accumulating that the company is making progress on its mRNA platform, including solving challenges related to delivery, protein expression and immunogenicity. The biotech told BioCentury it plans to be more transparent now that it has entered the clinic, and said preclinical publications will start to come out even before it reports data from human trials.
With lead program mRNA 1440 in a Phase I trial in healthy volunteers, it appears that data could be imminent. In the meantime, a succession of deals with repeat customers suggests that pharma partners like the data they have seen.
And, according to CFO Lorence Kim, the company is now shifting its deal focus from broad collaborations aimed at building the platform, to narrower deals focused on specific products. This month's cystic fibrosis deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the latest example (see "Moderna's Deals," page 5).
Moderna was founded in 2010 and emerged from stealth mode in