Breaking News

European Court Orders Russia to Pay €1.87 Billion for Yukos Seizure
Tweet TWEET

Moderna Launches Onkaido Therapeutics to Focus on the Development of mRNA Therapeutics™ in Oncology with $20 Million Capital

  Moderna Launches Onkaido Therapeutics to Focus on the Development of mRNA
        Therapeutics™ in Oncology with $20 Million Capital Commitment

PR Newswire

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 14, 2014

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Moderna Therapeutics, the
pioneer in developing messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics™, a revolutionary
treatment modality to enable the in vivo production of therapeutic proteins,
announced today the creation of Onkaido Therapeutics, a new venture focused
exclusively on developing mRNA-based oncology treatments. Onkaido Therapeutics
will launch with $20 million in committed capital from Moderna. The new
company will focus initially on 15 pre-clinical drug candidates in the areas
of apoptosis, central regulatory nodes and immunotherapy. Several of these
candidates are already under evaluation in in vivo disease models. By
establishing Onkaido as a standalone unit, Moderna intends to accelerate the
development of mRNA Therapeutics™ for oncology and deliver the potential of
these new cancer treatments to patients.

Stephen Hoge, M.D., senior vice president, corporate development and new drug
concepts at Moderna will take on the added role of founding chief executive
officer for Onkaido, and Peter F. Smith, Ph. D., former head of non-clinical
discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, will serve as
founding chief scientific officer.

"The vast potential for messenger RNA Therapeutics will only be tapped by
simultaneously industrializing our platform and developing our key programs in
the clinic as quickly and safely as possible," said Stephane Bancel, president
and founding CEO, Moderna Therapeutics. "Moderna's novel technology holds
great therapeutic promise in oncology. We will benefit by enabling Stephen,
Peter and the scientific team to focus intensely on the best, most rapid path
toward turning our discoveries into cancer therapies that make a difference
for patients."

mRNA Therapeutics™ are designed to elude the body's innate immune response and
work with its natural processes, enabling the in vivo production of both
intracellular proteins, which remain within the cells, and secreted proteins,
which are released into the bloodstream and act to restore function elsewhere
in the body. As a result, the mRNA Therapeutics™ platform will enable Onkaido
to reach known anti-cancer targets that are not addressable through current
approaches.

"Basic research in the past decade has uncovered innumerable targets in
cancer, but our ability to reach them therapeutically remains limited," said
Dr. Stephen Hoge, founding CEO, Onkaido Therapeutics. "We are thrilled and
humbled by the opportunity to use this new modality to do things that have
never been done before in the fight against cancer."

The new oncology company will be led by proven industry leaders with combined
decades of experience in biotech strategy and clinical development, as well as
expertise in oncology:

Stephen Hoge, M.D. is Moderna's senior vice president, corporate development
and new drug concepts, and founded Moderna's internal efforts in oncology upon
joining Moderna. Prior to Moderna, Dr. Hoge was a partner at McKinsey &
Company and a leader in the firm's global Healthcare and Corporate Finance
practices advising senior management teams of leading biotech and
pharmaceutical companies on a wide range of strategic, financial and
operational issues. Before that, he was a physician in New York City.

Peter F. Smith, PhD has 30 years of pharmaceutical leadership experience with
previous roles held at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Searle/Monsanto, Merck
Research Laboratories and SmithKline. At Millennium, Dr. Smith served as
senior vice president responsible for all non-clinical discovery and
development efforts and helped lead all research and development. Over the
course of his career, Dr. Smith has also driven the non-clinical development
of several major, marketed drugs including Celebrex, Inspra and Velcade. Dr.
Smith holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of
Arizona and is a sought after industry expert with more than 50 academic
publications to-date.

About Onkaido Therapeutics

Onkaido Therapeutics, a new venture formed by Moderna, is focused exclusively
on the advancement of oncology products for previously undruggable targets and
as a superior alternative to existing drug modalities. Leveraging Moderna's
messenger RNA Therapeutics^TM platform, an entirely new in vivo drug modality
that produces human proteins or antibodies inside patient cells, Onkaido plans
to rapidly turn scientific innovation into cancer therapies that can make a
real difference for patients.

About Moderna Therapeutics

Moderna is pioneering messenger RNA Therapeutics™, an entirely new in vivo
drug modality that produces human proteins or antibodies 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. Moderna has developed a broad intellectual property estate,
including more than 250 patent applications covering novel nucleotide
chemistries and drug compositions. The company plans to develop and
commercialize its innovative mRNA drugs through a combination of strategic
relationships as well as new formed ventures. Founded in late 2010 by Flagship
VentureLabs, Cambridge-based Moderna is privately held and currently has
strategic agreements with AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
www.modernatx.com.

For information contact:
Maria Favorito, Feinstein Kean Healthcare
617-761-6720, maria.favorito@fkhealth.com

SOURCE Moderna Therapeutics

Website: http://www.modernatx.com