Everybody has already heard about Boston-based Moderna Therapeutics, the most highly valued venture-backed private Biotech, but CureVac, its German competitor, remains much more understated. This could rapidly change as CureVac just demonstrated that its technology beats Moderna’s.
mRNA technologies could theoretically disrupt the whole drug industry. Imagine that you can directly inject mRNA into patients to make them produce their own therapeutic proteins. Unfortunately, technical challenges, like the delivery of the drug or inflammatory side-effects, need to be resolved before we reach this new era.
Over the last couple of years now, a new momentum has emerged for mRNA technologies, mostly due to Moderna Therapeutics, which literally inhaled almost one billion dollars from Venture Capital to finance its pharaonic project.
Moderna’s success mainly rests upon its CEO’s shoulders, Stephane Bancel, former head of bioMérieux, backed up by Moderna’s well-connected co-founders.
The mystery with Bancel is how did he attract these investors? Moderna only published one paper showing the effects of the technology in rodents,