News Article

Moderna gets $125M from Alexion in license option deal
Date: Jan 13, 2014
Author: Don Seiffert
Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc of Cheshire, CT

Don Seiffert

Less than two months after raising $110 million in equity, Moderna Therapeutics has received a $100 million upfront payment plus a $25 million equity investment from Connecticut-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals in exchange for the exclusive option to license 10 investigational drugs for rare diseases.

The potential drugs included in the deal are based on so-called messenger RNA, the molecules that convey information from the genes to create new proteins. Under the agreement, Alexion will lead the discovery, development and commercialization of the drugs, while Moderna will be responsible for the design and manufacture of the messenger RNA against selected targets. Moderna would get development and commercial milestone payments on any drugs Alexion licenses under the agreement, as well as high single- to double-digit royalties on sales.

Moderna announced a $240 million up-front payment in March 2013 from pharma giant AstraZeneca to deliver drug candidates. With today’s announcement, the company has raised more than $540 million in the short time since its founding in late 2012 by Flagship VentureLabs.

Moderna recently moved its headquarters to a 44,000-square-foot space at 200 Technology Square in Cambridge. The company’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, recently told the Journal that there are no plans to take the company public anytime soon.