Goodwin advised Moderna Therapeutics on its strategic collaboration and license agreement with Merck (NYSE:MRK) to develop and commercialize novel messenger RNA (mRNA)-based personalized cancer vaccines. Under the agreement, Merck will make an upfront cash payment to Moderna of $200 million, which Moderna will use to lead all research and development efforts through proof of concept. Merck has the right to make an additional undisclosed payment to Moderna following human proof of concept studies.
The collaboration will combine Moderna’s pioneering mRNA vaccine technology and GMP manufacturing capabilities with Merck’s established leadership in immuno-oncology to advance individually tailored cancer vaccines for patients across a spectrum of cancers.
Moderna is a clinical stage pioneer of 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 potentially superior alternative to existing drug modalities for a wide range of diseases and conditions.
Moderna is a longtime Goodwin client. Goodwin has advised Moderna on a variety of transactions including its January 2015 license and collaboration agreement with Merck.
The Goodwin team advising Moderna was led by partners Kingsley Taft and Sarah Solomon and associate Erini Svokos.
For more information, please view Moderna and Merck’s joint press release.