MedImmune, Moderna to collaborate on cancer therapy trials
MedImmune is the biologics research and development division of London-based AstraZeneca. Moderna, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotechnology company, focuses on the development of protein therapies based on novel messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.
"We’re pleased to be expanding our relationship with Moderna with this new collaboration, to advance the potential of pioneering messenger RNA technology in developing game-changing new treatments for cancer patients," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said.
MedImmune's team will bring expertise in protein engineering and cancer biology, while Moderna's researchers will add knowledge of the company's mRNA platform. The companies will partner for two immuno-oncology initiatives, using existing pre-clinical data gathered from studies done on tumor models.
The first human studies from the trial are expected later this year.
Discovery and pre-clinical development of product candidates will be funded by Moderna. The two companies will split costs related to late-stage clinical developments. Should therapies be approved and marketed, the companies will share profits equally.
Researchers from the companies have been working together since 2013 to develop mRNA treatments for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases, as well as some targets in oncology.
"Since our companies’ original strategic agreement in March 2013, Moderna’s relationship with AstraZeneca has been very fruitful," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said. "This new agreement with AstraZeneca demonstrates the effectiveness of our existing relationship and the power of our mRNA technology."
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