As­traZeneca dou­bles down on Mod­er­na, in­vests $140M in $1.5B-plus biotech

Mod­er­na Ther­a­peu­tics has had one of the most suc­cess­ful records in biotech for rais­ing mon­ey to back dis­cov­ery-stage R&D work. And now it’s bank­ing $140 mil­lion more from As­traZeneca as the biotech steps its way through ear­ly clin­i­cal stage work.

The in­vest­ment brings As­traZeneca’s $AZN stake in Mod­er­na to 9% and comes just days af­ter the part­ners filed a Eu­ro­pean ap­pli­ca­tion to start a Phase I study of AZD8601, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion­al mR­NA-based ther­a­py that en­codes for vas­cu­lar en­dothe­lial growth fac­tor-A (VEGF-A). As­traZeneca orig­i­nal­ly signed on as a part­ner back in 2013, when new CEO Pas­cal So­ri­ot used it to demon­strate the phar­ma gi­ant’s zeal for big, risky and po­ten­tial­ly rev­o­lu­tion­ary sci­ence projects.

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