Moderna signs second genetic medicine contract in one month

Dive briefs:

  • Moderna signed its second gene therapy contract in a month, announcing a partnership with Massachusetts-based Generation Bio to develop new treatments using non-viral delivery technology.
  • Under the agreement, Moderna will have the option to license Generation Bio’s delivery tools for use in up to two immune cell programs and two programs for liver, as well as additional options for another program. I have. Moderna will pay $40 million up front to acquire a stake in Generation Bio and pay for all collaborations.
  • For Moderna, the deal follows the gene-editing partnership it signed with Life Edit Therapeutics in late February and its first acquisition of OriCiro Genomics in January. Generation Bio’s shares rose as much as 30% in Thursday trading.

Dive Insight:

Moderna will have more than $18 billion in cash by the end of 2022 from revenue generated by its COVID-19 vaccine and is reinvesting some of that money in search of its next growth engine. This year, the company is increasing its spending on research and development to his $4.5 billion.

Moderna is increasingly exploring gene-based medicines and various applications of its experience with messenger RNA and lipid nanoparticles (fat globules used to deliver COVID-19 shots).

The OriCiro deal gives Moderna a “best-in-class” tool for synthesizing plasmid DNA, while the licensing deal with Life Edit gives it access to a library of gene-editing tools, A delivery that said it could be used more versatile.

The three-year collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals also focuses on novel delivery approaches to the lung for treating cystic fibrosis. A year into this team-up, Moderna signed a deal with California-based startup Metagenomi to give the startup access to her CRISPR-based gene-editing tools.

With Generation Bio, Moderna plans to advance “in vivo immune cell targeting as a new class of gene therapy agents.”

Broadly speaking, Moderna wants to use its messenger RNA-based vaccine technology for diseases other than COVID. The company’s COVID-19 vaccine sales are projected to drop by a third of his 2022 total, and its $130 list price has come under heavy criticism in the United States.

Moderna’s mRNA-based experimental influenza vaccine showed mixed results in Phase 3 trial data reported last month, and the company plans to report data from another Phase 3 trial soon. It also plans to submit an application for approval of its respiratory syncytial virus vaccine candidate in the United States this year after reporting positive results in January.

Merck & Co. has licensed Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccine, which has shown promise in mid-term trials in the second half of 2022 and may enter Phase 3 trials this year.

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