By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Clinical Trials Week -- Moderna Therapeutics, the company pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics™, a revolutionary new treatment modality to enable the in vivo production of therapeutic proteins, announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the company up to $25 million to research and develop its messenger RNA therapeutics™ platform as a rapid and reliable way to make antibody-producing drugs to protect against a wide range of known and unknown emerging infectious diseases and engineered biological threats (see also Moderna Therapeutics).
Messenger RNA therapeutics™ can be designed to tap directly into the body's natural processes to produce antibodies without exposing people to a weakened or inactivated virus or pathogen, as is the case with the vaccine approaches currently being tested. As a result, Moderna's messenger RNA therapeutics™ platform has the potential to speed the development and manufacture of treatments that can produce a safer, more reliable and more robust immune response than existing technologies.
"We are honored to be chosen by DARPA for this important grant, which will greatly accelerate our efforts to develop antibody messenger RNA therapeutics™ to combat a wide range of infectious diseases," said Stephane Bancel, president and founding CEO of Moderna. "We were awarded this major grant after an intense and rigorous scientific review, and it is a testament to our team's progress and to the profound implications of messenger RNA therapeutics™ that our work was funded. We look forward to further expanding the development of our platform into this critically important new therapeutic area."
This $24.6 million grant could support research for up to 5 years to advance promising antibody- producing drug candidates into preclinical testing and human clinical trials. The company also received a $0.7 million "seedling" grant from DARPA in March to begin work on the project.
This grant is part of a DARPA program called ADEPT: PROTECT (Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics: Prophylactic Options to Environmental and Contagious). The goal is to develop platform technologies that can be deployed safely and rapidly to provide the U.S. population with near-immediate protection against emerging infectious diseases and engineered biological weapons, even in cases when the pathogen or infectious agent is unknown.
Keywords for this news article include: Viral RNA, Technology, Engineering, Pre-Trial Research, Government Agencies, Moderna Therapeutics, Offices and Entities, Clinical Trials and Studies.
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