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Moderna再获4亿5千万风募集资金总额达到了九亿五千万美元投剑指mRNA药物研发

2015-01-14

2015年1月6日讯 / --最近总部位于美国麻省坎布里奇市的生物技术公司Moderna公司宣布再获四亿五千万美元风投资金。这也是公司自成立以来所获得的最大规模的投资。

本轮投资的主要投资方包括Viking Global Investors、Invus、RA Capital Management和Wellington Management等著名风投公司。而Moderna公司的投资方兼研究伙伴阿斯利康公司和Alexion公司也纷纷参与其中。这也使这家成立于2011年的年轻生物技术公司募集资金总额达到了九亿五千万美元之多。

Moderna公司自成立以来就以开发人类蛋白质以及抗体药物作为公司的核心。而其掌握的独特的靶向疗法技术也吸引了阿斯利康公司等生物医药巨头与其达成合作协议。

此次融资后,Moderna公司将开辟mRNA疗法的新领域,根据公司管理人员介绍,目前Moderna公司在这一领域有着45项临床前项目,涵盖了多个疾病治疗领域。此次资金的注入,为Moderna公司进一步开拓这一领域的研究注入了强大的动力。公司将把现有的研究团队扩大至145人。

RNA药物研究领域已经越来越成为各大生物医药公司的必争之地。根据著名市场调查公司Allied公司的调查结果显示,到2020年,RNA疗法药物的销售额将达到十二亿美元以上,并将保持28.4%的高速增长。

一方面是由于RNA疗法能够克服蛋白质类药物在体内容易被清除的缺点,另一方面也是由于其能够直接作用于一些突变的致病基因,从而达到更彻底长效治疗疾病的目的。

此外,近年来载药系统领域研究的成果为顺利将RNA药物输入体内提供了有力的保障。这都促使RNA药物研究领域的兴起。(相关阅读:RNAi药物或将成为未来医药市场新贵)。目前科学家们希望能利用这种方法治疗一些病毒性疾病如肝炎等以及癌症。

(力太生物litebio.com)

详细英文报道:

Superlatively well-funded biotech Moderna Therapeutics has raised another $450 million in venture cash, planning to staff up and buckle down on a slew of preclinical candidates that promises to transform patients' cells into drug factories.

The latest round, by far the largest in recent memory, comes courtesy of new investors Viking Global Investors, Invus, RA Capital Management and Wellington Management, plus previous backers--and collaborators--AstraZeneca ($AZN) and Alexion ($ALXN). With the sum, Moderna has banked more than $950 million in venture and collaboration cash since its 2011 foundation by Flagship Ventures, and, despite the presence of crossover investors like RA, the biotech insists that it's not planning a near-term IPO.

Moderna's flagship technology has the potential to spur the production of human proteins or antibodies within patient cells, effectively creating an in vivo factory for targeted therapies. The company believes its proprietary approach to messenger RNA has the potential to treat previously undruggable targets in a wide range of disease areas, touting 45 preclinical programs in its pipeline.

Now, with another boatload of cash secured, the Cambridge, MA, biotech plans to dial up its efforts, looking to hire more than 100 scientists and researchers to bolster its existing staff of 145.

"The strong support from our investors is a testament to the incredible work done by our team over the past three years in unlocking the potential of mRNA therapeutics to drive transformational advances for patients," CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. "With $800 million in cash after this financing, we are moving rapidly to support the exponential growth of our mRNA therapeutics platform with new investments, partnerships and ventures, and are committed to recruiting the best industry talent to support this growth at all levels, including bench scientists, seasoned drug hunters and leaders for our new ventures."

The big figures and big ambitions tied to Moderna's latest fundraise fit right in with the company's brief history. Shortly after coming out of stealth in late 2012, the company inked a $420 million deal with AstraZeneca in which a whopping $240 million of that total came in up-front cash, among the largest down payments in industry history. Shortly thereafter, Moderna pulled in a $120 million second financing round and then quickly banked another $125 million from partner Alexion with the promise of further payments down the road.

Along the way, Moderna has partnered up with DARPA and the Karolinska Institutet on R&D projects stemming from its baseline mRNA technology, and the biotech hived off its efforts in cancer into a subsidiary called Onkaido.

Flagship led Moderna's $40 million seed round in late 2012, helping the company get on its feet with technology based on the work of cofounder and Harvard stem cell expert Derrick Rossi. The company, a 2013 Fierce 15 honoree, then fleshed out its C-suite in convincing Bancel to quit his job as chief of the fast-growing French diagnostics outfit bioMérieux and has since more than quadrupled its staff as it marches toward human trials for its novel technology.


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