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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Moderna Therapeutics, the pioneer in developing messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics, is announcing the company's expansion to 320 Bent Street in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge, a move that adds nearly 50,000 square feet of office, laboratory and manufacturing facilities to Moderna's operations in Massachusetts.
"Moderna's rapid growth has led to our expansion in Cambridge a city with the right resources and talent to fuel our continued success," said Stephane Bancel, founding president and CEO of Moderna. "Less than three years after launching the company, our team has grown to about 170 people in Cambridge, we have expanded our facilities to more than 100,000 square feet, and we are continuing to hire."
The new site at 320 Bent Street will house Moderna Venture Incubator laboratories, non-GMP production facilities, and the relocated offices of Moderna's headquarters. The company's former headquarters at 200 Technology Square in Cambridge will remain occupied by Moderna and be dedicated to research and development and GMP manufacturing.
"In Massachusetts we invest in the life sciences because we are choosing to shape our own future," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I congratulate Moderna Therapeutics on their expansion and look forward to their continued contributions and job creation here in the Commonwealth."
Since 2011, Moderna has received more than $1.4 million in tax incentives from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) based upon commitments to create more than 70 new jobs in the Commonwealth.
The pace of Moderna's development is driven by progress with its research on the mRNA Therapeutics technology platform, its proprietary research programs, and the research programs of the organizations with which Moderna has strategic agreements, AstraZeneca, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
"On behalf of the team at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, congratulations to Moderna Therapeutics on the company's expansion into this new space in Kendall Square," said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., president and CEO of the MLSC. "We are pleased to have awarded Moderna tax incentives over the past three years totaling more than $1.4 million, tied to their new job creation in Massachusetts, and we look forward to the great advances in messenger RNA Therapeutics that will occur in this new facility."
Moderna is accelerating the number of research programs using mRNA Therapeutics, with 16 research programs currently ongoing. In addition, AstraZeneca will soon add another 15 programs to its eight programs already underway, and Alexion has initiated two programs since signing an agreement with Moderna in January, and intends to add more programs soon.
"Moderna is firing on all cylinders, making important discoveries on the core science behind mRNA drugs, advancing research programs and filing key patents to drive future growth," said Bancel. "We are grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge for their support. Moderna is committed to investing in Cambridge an important global hub for biotechnology research, development and commercialization."
"Moderna is a great example of a Massachusetts success storya company that is growing here because of its great science, great talent, support from our partners in government, and collaboration with key strategic partners in industry," said Robert K. Coughlin, president and CEO of MassBio, the life sciences trade organization. "We congratulate Stephane and his team for reaching the milestone of this expansion and wish them the best of luck in finding treatments and cures for patients in need around the world."
For more information on Moderna Therapeutics and potential partnership opportunities, please visit modernatx.com.
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is pioneering messenger RNA Therapeutics, an entirely new in vivo drug modality that produces human proteins or antibodies 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. Moderna has developed a broad intellectual property estate, including more than 320 patent applications covering novel nucleotide chemistries and drug compositions. The company plans to develop and commercialize its innovative mRNA drugs through a combination of strategic relationships as well as newly formed ventures, like Onkaido LLC, its oncology Drug Development Company. Founded by Flagship VentureLabs, Cambridge-based Moderna is privately held and currently has strategic agreements with AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals. modernatx.com.
For information contact:
Maria Favorito, Feinstein Kean Healthcare
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SOURCE Moderna Therapeutics