AstraZeneca Places $420M Bet On Mass. Biotech Startup

Law360, New York (March 21, 2013, 2:27 PM EDT) -- Battered by patent expirations and pipeline failures, AstraZeneca PLC on Thursday outlined part of its plan to bounce back by betting as much as $420 million on unproven biologic therapies developed by a Massachusetts startup.

The investment in Moderna Therapeutics Inc., which is trying to create medicines that use messenger RNA to provoke cellular responses, includes a $240 million upfront infusion, $180 million in milestone payments and royalties on any products that make it to market.

Under the five-year deal, Moderna will be responsible for design...
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