-- Research partnership will advance the development of mRNA vaccines and passive immunity therapies for infectious diseases
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts and PARIS, Feb. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Moderna Therapeutics, a pioneer in the development of messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics™ and the Institut Pasteur, a recognized public benefit organization with three core missions - research, public health and teaching - at the forefront of biomedical research, today announced a long-term strategic research collaboration for the discovery and development of drugs and vaccines using Moderna's mRNA Therapeutics™ platform. Valera, a Moderna venture company, will manage the research collaboration for Moderna. Valera is focused exclusively on the advancement of vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial and parasitic infectious diseases.
Said Pr Christian Brechot, president of the Institut Pasteur, "We look forward to collaborating with Valera and to using Moderna's mRNA platform to discover and develop new vaccines and treatments to address infectious diseases in an entirely new way. This partnership will be a trump card in our fight against viral and bacterial disease."
Under the agreement, Valera will sponsor programs of preclinical and clinical research at the Institut Pasteur aimed at identifying and developing new approaches to combatting known and emerging viral and bacterial diseases.
"We are very honored to be working with the Institute that Monsieur Louis Pasteur started more than 125 years ago in Paris. He is the father of the modern fight against infectious disease. Through our partnership with the Institut Pasteur, we will work with world-class researchers and clinicians who will be critical allies as we strive to develop a transformative approach to fighting infectious diseases for patients throughout the world," said Stephane Bancel, president and CEO of Moderna. "This agreement builds on our strategy of partnering with leaders in critical fields of medicine, from AstraZeneca, Alexion, Merck and DARPA to our recently announced collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet, to advance the development of mRNA-based drugs and vaccines across multiple therapeutic areas."
About Institut Pasteur
Louis Pasteur created the Institut Pasteur in 1887 as a private non-profit foundation that rapidly became world-renowned for its biomedical research. The main aim of the Institut Pasteur is understanding and preventing diseases throughout the world through excellent scientific and public health research, teaching and other activities. Together with its major contribution to a deeper understanding of fundamental aspects of life, the Institut Pasteur continues to devote a large part of its efforts to infectious diseases, inherited disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers. Close to 2,400 people work on its main campus in Paris, which is at the heart of an international network of 32 research institutes on 5 continents. Over the years, 10 Institut Pasteur researchers have received the Nobel Prize. www.pasteur.fr
About Valera, a Moderna Venture
Valera, the second venture company formed by Moderna, is focused exclusively on the advancement of vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Valera is leveraging Moderna's messenger RNA Therapeutics™ platform, an entirely new in vivo drug technology that produces human proteins, antibodies and entirely novel protein constructs inside patient cells, which are in turn secreted or active intracellularly. For more information please visit www.modernatx.com/ventures.
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is pioneering messenger RNA Therapeutics™, an entirely new in vivo drug technology that produces human proteins, antibodies and entirely novel protein constructs inside patient cells, which are in turn secreted or active intracellularly. This breakthrough platform addresses currently undruggable targets and offers a superior alternative to existing drug modalities for a wide range of disease conditions. The company currently plans to develop and commercialize its innovative mRNA drugs through a combination of strategic relationships as well as newly formed ventures, including Onkaido LLC, focused on oncology drug development, and Valera LLC, focused on infectious diseases. Founded by Flagship VentureLabs™, Cambridge-based Moderna is privately held and currently has strategic agreements with Merck, AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals. www.modernatx.com.
SOURCE Moderna Therapeutics