Moderna names big names to manufacturing advisory board

Moderna Chairman Noubar Afeyan

The FDA has been harping at the industry to make sure it gets its manufacturing right and Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a way to enable the in vivo production of therapeutic proteins, intends to make sure it does. The Cambridge, MA-based company is setting up a technology advisory board to give it advice on how to build state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing. The company says it will need facilities to make high-quality mRNA active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for its own clinical programs as well as for partners AstraZeneca ($AZN), Alexion Pharmaceuticals ($ALXN) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In addition to Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna and himself a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from M.I.T, the board includes 6 other noted folks. They include a Nobel winner from Harvard and former executives of companies including Merck ($MRK), Genzyme, Genentech and Eli Lilly ($LLY). Moderna's messenger RNA therapies aim to turn the body's own cells into makers of protein drugs and reduce the cost of developing protein therapies in the process. Announcement | More