Moderna, Karolinska Institute to collaborate on messenger RNA therapeutics
Moderna Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based pharma, has formed a strategic, long-term collaboration with Karolinska Institute (KI) and Karolinska University Hospital (KUH), both in Sweden, for the discovery and development of innovative drugs using Moderna's messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics technology. mRNA Therapeutics enable the in vivo production of both intracellular proteins and secreted proteins.
As a result, Moderna's platform has the potential to speed the development and manufacture of treatments for many diseases that currently are untreatable with existing pharmaceutical approaches.
Moderna will sponsor research grants for scientists at both institutions to conduct preclinical research with novel mRNA Therapeutics. As this preclinical work is successfully completed, Moderna will conduct clinical trials of new drug candidates at Karolinska University Hospital.
To solidify the scientific and clinical collaboration between the organizations, and to optimize the output of the partnership, Moderna is creating a new laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, located in the Novum building next to the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge campus.
"Strategically, we view this, our first academic partnership, as highly complementary to our existing drug discovery and development efforts, both with our pharmaceutical partners AstraZeneca and Alexion and with Moderna ventures such as Onkaido," said Stéphane Bancel, president and founding CEO of Moderna. "Given the broad potential of this revolutionary drug technology, it was critical to us to work closely with a leading academic medical institution."