The American Lawyer Industry Awards have named Moderna and Goodwin the Best Client-Law Firm Team of 2021. The annual awards program recognizes the lawyers and leaders that have left their mark on the legal industry, the profession and society. The award was presented at a ceremony in New York on December 2.
Goodwin and Moderna first began working together during the company’s founding in 2010. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moderna was started with the bold vision that messenger RNA therapeutics™ technology — mRNA — had the potential to use a patient’s own cells to produce proteins that could prevent, treat and cure diseases.
Armed with the promise of this revolutionary therapy, Moderna’s team, led by Co-Founder and Chair Noubar Afeyan and Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel, selected a Goodwin team led by Vice Chairman and Global Chair of M+A Stuart Cable and Life Sciences Co-Chair Kingsley Taft.
“From the outset, it was clear that Moderna had extraordinary potential and a leadership team ready to help them reach it,” said Cable. “In Goodwin, they found a firm that was equally committed to innovation in life sciences and possessed the experience necessary to guide an emerging company with grand ambitions.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, Moderna sprang into action. The company leveraged its technology to develop a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, which was delivered from Moderna’s manufacturing facility in just 42 days from sequence selection.
The first participant was dosed in a National Institute of Health-led Phase 1 study of mRNA-1273 in March 2020 and by July Moderna’s vaccine was the first to commence its Phase 3 study. Finally, after achieving a successful outcome in its Phase 3 trials, the US Food and Drug Administration granted mRNA-1273 Emergency Use Authorization on December 18, 2020, a groundbreaking moment that would allow the vaccine to be distributed in the United States.
In order to supply the vaccine to other countries, Moderna executives and Goodwin lawyers, led by Sarah Solomon in Boston and Tim Worden in London, interacted with governmental officials and supply chain partners from around the world. Supported by over 200 Goodwin lawyers, Moderna established its own global distribution network in a matter of months that allowed it to commercialize the vaccine and compete effectively with big pharma.
Today, what began as a promising relationship with a small Cambridge startup in 2010 has evolved into a worldwide Goodwin/Moderna relationship ranging from the boardroom to a global supply chain and commercial undertaking.
“While the development of Moderna’s vaccine is a watershed moment in history, it is hoped in the years to come that Moderna’s breakthrough mRNA modality, which is often referred to as the ‘software of life,’ will result in vaccines and therapeutics being deployed across numerous indications and disease types,” said Cable. “Goodwin is honored to continue to play an integral role in that transformation.”
To learn more about the history and accomplishments of this special relationship, click here.