Moderna is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical company based in America. It mainly works with RNA therapeutics and mRNA vaccines. The headquarters of Moderna is located in Cambridge Massachusetts. Moderna is now a well known global pharmaceutical name. It has many offices worldwide. Other locations and subsidiaries of Moderna are in countries like India, Bermuda, Spain, France, The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada etc. Let us know about that the Moderna Headquarters And Locations.
Moderna was founded 11 years ago, in September 2010 by Derrick Rossi who was working with stem cell biology at Stanford, at that time. He developed a method to transform mRNA cells into human cells and bone marrow stem cells. Together with fellow scholars and investors, he found Moderna. Today, Moderna is a pioneer of RNA therapeutics i.e. using RNA to treat diseases and medical conditions. During the pandemic of COVID-19, scientists at Moderna worked relentlessly to produce the only commercially available product of the company, the MODERNA COVID-19 vaccine. It is sold under the brand name Spikevax. The mission at Moderna is to deliver and develop the promise of mRNA science and to create a new generation of transformative medications. Exploring new paths of harnessing the power of mRNA is Moderna’s priority.
The power of mRNA
mRNA stands for messenger RNA. A tiny strand of mRNA can teach the body how to formulate a specific protein that is going to help the immune system in preventing or treating certain diseases. Each mRNA specifically carries the ‘blueprint’ to a certain kind of protein. This blueprint contains instructions for the cells on how to make that specific protein.
If we can figure out the way to encode the mRNA with the blueprints of the proteins that we want the body to create, we can treat a large number of diseases. This is Moderna’s area of expertise. At Moderna, they work every day to try to encode the mRNA with blueprints of proteins that are specific to the treatment of certain diseases. Trials are done in labs and on humans before a medication or vaccine like this is made commercially available.
Research at Moderna
Currently the research at Moderna is focused on the following medical areas:
Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases is a focus area at Moderna. The mRNA vaccine technology offers potential advantages in speed, efficacy and product reliability. Research in this area has proved to be fruitful and potentially ensures that the future population is better prepared for threats of infectious diseases and ultimately, their responses will be better too.
Also known as immunotherapy. Research is now also being conducted to use the science of mRNA therapy in immuno-oncology. Recent research in cancer immunotherapy has proved that powerful antitumour responses can be achieved if antigen-specific T cells are activated, in various settings of cancer patients. Although this research is not universal as some patients responded better than the others but with further research, many more patients can be helped.
Specific cancer vaccines
Using advanced sequencing of DNA and RNA, mutations in a patient’s cancer cells can now be identified. These are called neoepitopes. They help distinguish cancer cells from normal cells of the body. Using in-house bioinformatics, scientists at Moderna have been able to predict around 20 such mutations that can elicit the required immune response. Using this information, a vaccine can be curated, that is personalized for each patient, by encoding these mutations onto a single mRNA molecule. This vaccine helps the cells of the body better recognize the cancer cells and destroy them more efficiently. Although expensive right now, this treatment is a boon for cancer patients all across the globe.
More than 300 million people worldwide are affected by more than 7000 rare diseases. Despite these high numbers, only 5 per cent of rare diseases and disorders have approved drugs. Moderna is working on advancing mRNA based therapeutics that restore the activity of missing enzymes, which are the main cause of many rare diseases.
Chronic coronary artery disease is one of the deadliest cardiovascular diseases. It occurs due to blockage of coronary arteries and results in insufficient blood flow. This leads to myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. Moderna, through its partnership with AstraZeneca, is conducting research and evaluating the use of mRNA in treating these diseases.
These are the diseases in which the immune system of the body starts to work against its cells. It either has abnormally low or high activity due to response against antigens, that are normally present in the body. In normal, healthy people, the immune system works to rectify this. In people suffering from autoimmune diseases, the dysfunction of the immune system makes them prone to several other diseases. Moderna is working on developing potential mRNA therapies that can restore immune homeostasis in such individuals.
Moderna works with mRNA to develop medicines and vaccines for the treatment of various deadly diseases and medical conditions. It is one of the superlative uses of science.
Frequently asked questions
Is Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine commercially available?
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, commercially called Spikevax was approved by the FDA in 2022 to be sold and used commercially. It is available for individuals who are aged 18 years or older.
How many shots of the MODERNA vaccine are to be taken?
The Moderna vaccine consists of 2 doses in the primary series which are given 4 to 8 weeks apart. Booster shots are also available for people above 18 years of age.
What are some other products that Moderna has made?
Currently, the only commercially available product by Moderna is the COVID vaccine. But several other vaccines are a part of Moderna’s product pipeline. These include beta, delta, Omicron variant of COVID vaccines, flu vaccines, COVID+flu vaccines, RSV vaccines, endemic HCoV vaccines etc.
What are some of the employee resource groups associated with Moderna?
Women in Science driving Moderna, Voice of the Employee, Accessibility and Disability Allies, Moderna Rainbow Alliance, empower, UNIDOS etc. are all employee resource groups at Moderna.