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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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 3,187,270 — Total deaths: 134,117 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
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Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

5 hours ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.