Moderna The History of the Company 17th October 2021 – Tags: , , , ,

History of Moderna Company Inc (mRNA)


Moderna, Inc. is a US biotechnology and pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It focuses on messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine technologies.

Moderna’s vaccine platform inserts synthetic nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) into human cells using a layer of lipid nanoparticles.

This mRNA then reprograms the cells to elicit immune responses.

Moderna develops therapeutic mRNA vaccines that are delivered in lipid nanoparticles, using mRNA with Pseudouridine nucleosides.

Candidates are designed to have enhanced folding and translation efficiency through insertional mutagenesis.

¿Qué es mRNA?

Messenger RNA, or mRNA, plays a fundamental role in human biology, transferring the instructions stored in DNA to produce the proteins needed in every living cell.

Our approach is to use mRNA drugs to instruct a patient’s own cells to produce proteins that could prevent, treat or cure disease.

Company history


In 2010, ModeRNA Therapeutics was formed to commercialise the research of stem cell biologist Derrick Rossi.

Rossi had discovered Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó’s work on RNA-mediated immune activation, resulting in the joint discovery with US immunologist Drew Weissman of nucleoside modifications that suppress RNA immunogenicity.

This technology would later be licensed and used by Moderna and BioNTech to develop COVID-19 vaccines.

In 2011, Noubar Afeyan, Moderna’s largest shareholder, hired Stéphane Bancel, formerly an executive at BioMérieux and Eli Lilly and Company, as CEO.

Within 2 years of its founding, the company reached a unicorn valuation.

In March 2013, Moderna and AstraZeneca signed a five-year exclusive option agreement to discover, develop and commercialise mRNAs for treatments in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases, and selected cancer targets.

The deal included an upfront payment of $240 million to Moderna, a payment that was “one of the largest upfront payments in a pharmaceutical industry licensing deal that does not involve a drug already being tested in clinical trials”.

In September 2013, the company reported that it was able to improve heart function in mice and improve their long-term survival with a “redirection of their [stem cell] differentiation into cardiovascular cell types” in a significant step for regenerative medicine.

In October 2013, DARPA awarded the company up to $25 million to develop messenger RNA therapies. In November 2013, the company raised $110 million in equity funding.

In January 2014, Alexion Pharmaceuticals paid Moderna $100 million for ten product options to develop treatments for rare diseases, including Crigler-Najjar syndrome, using Moderna’s mRNA therapeutics platform.

Although CEO Bancel had hoped the platform would enter human trials in 2016, the programme with Alexion was scrapped in January 2017 after animal trials showed that Moderna’s treatment would never be safe enough for humans.


In November 2017, Maja Sedic and colleagues tested mRNA technology in Sprague-Dawley rats and cynomolgus monkeys at Charles River Laboratories’ Montreal and Sherbrooke facilities.

They discovered, among other things, that “mRNA is a labile biological molecule and therefore requires the use of protective delivery systems to effectively harness its potential”, as mRNA spreads beyond the injection site and is found in the liver, spleen, bone marrow and heart.


In 2018, the company changed its name to “Moderna Inc.” and further increased its vaccine development portfolio.

In July 2018, the company opened a 200,000-square-foot facility in Norwood, Massachusetts for manufacturing, preclinical and clinical work.

In December 2018, Moderna became a public company through the largest biotech IPO in history, raising $621 million (27 million shares at $23 per share).

5 Cosas que debes saber sobre Moderna

La ciencia detrás del oleoducto

The first thing you should know about moderna is that Moderna is called “mRNA” “the software of life”.”.

Cells use mRNA to translate DNA into the proteins the body uses to function. Moderna believes it can use mRNA to stimulate the body to produce its own therapeutic proteins, essentially placing a drug factory inside the patient.

As you might expect, this is no easy task. Moderna’s scientists have a big job ahead of them: for each potential drug, they need to figure out how to deliver the mRNA therapy safely to the right cells, make sure the mRNA actually produces sufficient amounts of protein to have a therapeutic effect, and ensure the therapies won’t trigger an immune reaction in patients.

Años lejos de un producto comercializable

The company’s drug development programmes span a wide range of clinical specialties, including infectious diseases, oncology, cardiovascular diseases and rare genetic diseases.

The biotech unicorn has 21 mRNA-based drugs in development, but only 10 are in clinical trials.

As the company noted in its most recent securities filing, neither the FDA nor any other regulatory agency has approved any mRNA-based drugs, so it will be years before Moderna can commercialise anything.

Los ejecutivos hacen un bonito centavo

Moderna revealed the compensation of its three highest-paid executives, who earned $40 million in cash and stock in 2017.

Stephen Hoge, the company’s president, received $19 million in options and a $4.4 million cash bonus in 2017.

Lorence Kim, Moderna’s chief financial officer received $5.5 million in stock and a $1 million cash bonus, while chief executive Stéphane Bancel received $4.6 million in options and a $1.5 million cash bonus.

La FDA tiene un problema con uno de sus productos.

Earlier this year, Moderna hit a speed bump while working on combining two vaccines for cytomegalovirus, or CMV, according to company securities filings.

Moderna was conducting an early-stage trial when it realised in August that one of the vaccines “did not meet our internal quality control specifications for visual inspection after one year of storage”.”.

La FDA suspendió clínicamente el ensayo y Moderna acordó eliminar esa vacuna del estudio.

Cash burn is high

Moderna spent nearly $360 million on operating expenses in the first nine months of 2018, and the company warned investors in its latest securities filing that cash spending would likely increase as it continues to develop its clinical programmes.

“We have incurred significant losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future,” the company wrote.

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