Merck invests $50 million in Moderna
- Moderna's messenger RNA therapeutics has attracted major pharma investors, including AstraZeneca, Alexion and now Merck. All told, Moderna has raised more than $800 million.
- Merck's three-year, $50 million partnership with Moderna will focus on developing vaccines against four unspecified viruses. All if this is happening through Valera, which is a company that Moderna created expressly for this purpose.
- Merck will handle the discovery, development and commercialization of the products that result from this partnership.
In short order, Moderna has raised $800 million, including $240 million from AstraZeneca for development of therapies for cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Subsequently, Alexion made an equity investment with the goal of working with Moderna to develop therapies for rare diseases. Last week alone, Moderna raised $450 million in private equity funding. The draw: messenger RNA technology in which proteins are extracted from RNA in order to create drugs. The theory is simple, the application is complex, the outcomes could be phenomenal.