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Moderna files for what could be largest IPO for a biotech startup

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Moderna Therapeutics, a Massachusetts startup that wants to revolutionize drug manufacturing, on Friday filed for what could be the largest-ever IPO for a biotech startup.

The bottom line: Moderna creates synthetic mRNA, which is injected into patients so they can create their own therapies. It's an entirely new way to think about making medicine, and it also could lend itself to a modular approach whereby it doesn't need different facilities for different products.

  • Moderna filed to raise $500 million and reports a $243 million net loss on around $100 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2018.
  • It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MRNA.
  • Morgan Stanley is lead underwriter, but 10 other investment banks are also listed.

The company has raised nearly $2 billion in venture capital funding, most recently at a $7.5 billion valuation.

  • Shareholders include Flagship Pioneering, AstraZeneca, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, BB Biotech, Julius Baer, EDBI, Sequoia Capital China, Fidelity, Pictet, Viking Global Investors, ArrowMark Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Its goal is to be involved in treatments for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology and rare diseases.

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