Here’s some more to think about with the well-funded enigma that is Moderna Therapeutics, about whom the only thing one can be sure of is the persuasiveness of their PowerPoint decks. The company has signed a number of high-profile deals for a lot of money, and is said to have a large number of development projects going, but no one really knows any key details about how their mRNA-based technology works (or how well).
Now their head of research, Joseph Bolen, has left abruptly. He joined the company from Millennium in 2013, and this comes after Moderna’s head of cardiovascular research departed quietly for ISIS Pharmaceuticals earlier this year (as noted by DM1Research on Twitter). Things are still pretty opaque, but you wonder: if Moderna really is a rocket ship getting ready to launch and spray a formation of new drugs across the sky, then why are these people leaving? On the other hand, there are a lot of possible reasons for people to bail out of a company (or for the company to bail out on them). Moderna, as far as I know, hasn’t announced anything in the clinic yet, so we’re probably going to have to wait a while to see what’s really going on over there. For now, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a startup biopharma company that has so much money so early, and apparently has so much going on, that people still know so few details about.