- Moderna Therapeutics, fresh off raising $474 million in new funding, on Wednesday announced its plans to construct a new manufacturing facility as it continues to build out its clinical development programs.
- The well-financed biotech also announced plans to invest $100 million per year into its mRNA technology platform, which has drawn the interest of a number of blue-blooded pharmaceutical companies. Moderna currently partners with AstraZeneca, Alexion, Merck & Co. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
- With the newly raised $474 million, Moderna said it currently has $1.4 billion in cash on its balance sheet, giving it the muscle to continue its rapid growth.
As a private company, Moderna has kept its clinical development plans close to the chest. The biotech did recently announce initiation of a Phase 1 trial for its second clinical program, an infectious disease vaccine candidate. A clinical trial application for another mRNA therapy has been submitted to the European Medicines Agency and another eight programs are currently in the pipeline.
Getting those programs off the ground and into the clinic will take a fair bit of cash, one of the reasons behind Moderna's new financing raise.
While further details on the manufacturing facility have not been announced, Moderna did say it would be built in "anticipation of increasing clinical activities across therapeutic areas."
Moderna has expanded rapidly in size at the same time. Over the past six months, total employee headcount has increased by 38%, to 440 employees by the end of June. The biotech has also bumped up its physical footprint, adding 85,000 square feet of office, lab and manufacturing space over the same period.