How did Moderna's 2015 patented code end up in SARS-CoV-2 and what were they developing in 2017?
What was Moderna secretly working on in 2017 and how did a patented section of genetic code end up in SARS-Cov-2?
Moderna was founded in 2010 and within two years managed to raise $40 million. In 2013 it signed a $240 million five year option agreement to discover, develop and commercialise mRNA for treatments in the therapeutic areas of various diseases, as well as selected targets for cancer.
The company continued it’s impressive fund raising, valued at around $5 billion in 2016, and culminating in 2018 when it became a public company and raised a further $621 million. From its creation until the end of 2019 it had lost $1.5 billion, losing $514 in 2019 alone.
It was notoriously secretive and was criticised by Nature for not publishing any peer reviewed papers on its novel technology. Another publication in Stat in 2016, which was summarised in Thrillist, continued the criticism and compared the company to the scandalised medical company Theranos. It highlighted reasons Moderna might be the next Theranos, including that the mRNA treatments are potentially very dangerous. It explained “On their own, RNA molecules have a hard time reaching their targets. They work better if they're wrapped up in a delivery mechanism, such as nanoparticles made of lipids. But those nanoparticles can lead to dangerous side effects, especially if a patient has to take repeated doses over months or years.” Luckily nobody has taken repeated doses over a few months yet - oh wait.
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