Moderna Joins the Human Vaccines Project to Help Advance Fundamental Understanding of the Immune System
Public-Private Consortium Collaborating to Generate New Immunological Insights, Accelerate Development of Vaccines and Immunotherapies
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 4, 2017 — Moderna Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics™ to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, announced today that it will join the Human Vaccines Project, a non-profit public-private partnership focused on decoding the human immune system to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancer. Moderna will join the global, cross-sector consortium of academic research centers, biopharmaceutical companies, governments and non-profit organizations in sharing knowledge and resources to generate key insights about immunological protection, and address primary scientific hurdles to developing new vaccines and immunotherapies.
“We are proud to support the important efforts of the Human Vaccines Project to unlock basic understanding of the immune system and translate this knowledge to accelerate infectious disease vaccines and cancer immunotherapies,” said Michael Watson, President of Valera, Moderna’s infectious disease-focused venture. “Collaborating with biopharma, academic, non-profit and government organizations has been a key focus of Moderna’s strategy to advance the promise of mRNA science for patients. We look forward to contributing to this consortium in kind, helping advance knowledge about human immunity that, ultimately, could help people around the world.”
Moderna currently has four mRNA-based infectious disease vaccines in clinical study and another four infectious disease vaccines advancing toward the clinic. The company is also developing an mRNA-based personalized cancer vaccine.
The Human Vaccines Project is a decade-long effort aimed at decoding the human immune system by harnessing recent technological advances in genomics, bioinformatics and systems biology. The Project has created a network of leading university and academic research centers that serve as its scientific hubs. These hubs work collaboratively to develop and execute the Project’s scientific plan, comprising 1.) the Human Immunome Program focused on defining the parts or components of the immune system, and 2.) the Rules of Immunogenicity Program, which seeks to define the rules of immunological protection. The involvement of Moderna and other biopharmaceutical companies will help promote the rapid translation of research breakthroughs generated by the Project into potential new products.
“We are honored to have Moderna join the Human Vaccines Project’s efforts to address the immunologic challenges impeding development of new and improved vaccines and immunotherapies for major infectious diseases and cancers,” said Wayne C. Koff, President and CEO, Human Vaccines Project. By harnessing recent technological advances from biomedical, computational, and engineering sciences, including Moderna’s transformative mRNA platform, the Project offers the potential to decode the human immune system, accelerate product development, and usher in a new era of global disease prevention.”
About the Human Vaccines Project
The Human Vaccines Project is a non-profit public-private partnership with the mission to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancers by decoding the human immune system. The Project has a growing list of partners and financial supporters including: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the J. Craig Venter Institute, the La Jolla Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, UC San Diego, Aeras, Boehringer Ingelheim, Crucell/Janssen, GSK, Pfizer, MedImmune, Regeneron, Sanofi Pasteur, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Project brings together leading academic research centers, industrial partners, nonprofits and governments to address the primary scientific barriers to developing new vaccines and immunotherapies, and has been endorsed by 35 of the world’s leading vaccine scientists. www.humanvaccinesproject.org
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is a clinical stage pioneer of messenger RNA Therapeutics™, an entirely new in vivo drug technology that directs the body’s cells to produces human proteins, antibodies and entirely novel protein constructs, which are in turn secreted or active intracellularly. With its breakthrough platform, Moderna is developing mRNA vaccines and therapeutics to address currently undruggable targets and deliver a new class of medicines for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Moderna is developing and plans to commercialize its innovative mRNA medicines for infectious diseases, cancer (immuno-oncology), rare diseases, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease, through its ecosystem of internal ventures and strategic partners.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., privately held Moderna currently has strategic agreements with AstraZeneca, Merck, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense; the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.