CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Moderna Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company that is pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, announced today that Moncef M. Slaoui, Ph.D., has joined its Board of Directors. Dr. Slaoui served in several senior research & development (R&D) roles with GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) during his time with the company, most recently as its Chairman of Global Vaccines. While at GSK, Dr. Slaoui also served on its Board of Directors for 11 years and led its global pharmaceutical R&D activities from 2006 through to 2015. In conjunction with Dr. Slaoui’s appointment to Moderna’s board, Lee Babiss, Ph.D., will be stepping down from his role as a director.
“We are assembling a board that can support the next phase of Moderna’s growth and development as a high-tech enterprise leveraging the digital nature of mRNA to advance a broad array of breakthrough biopharmaceutical products. Given his various leadership roles with GSK and his experience as a member of GSK’s board, Moncef brings significant vaccine and therapeutic development experience, in addition to experience managing complex pipelines from a large biopharma perspective,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna Therapeutics, and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “As we welcome Moncef, I’d also like to thank Lee Babiss for the role he has played on the board for the last four years, giving important guidance and insights as we developed the mRNA platform and our early product candidates.”
“It is quite rare to see a biopharma company achieve the state of growth and pipeline expansion that Moderna has in such a short period of time – a result of the novel characteristics of its mRNA platform, and the unique business model and infrastructure Moderna has created to exploit this technology,” said Moncef M. Slaoui, Ph.D. “With many programs simultaneously advancing through development, Moderna will confront a unique set of challenges as it scales in the years ahead. I look forward to working with the team to navigate this uncharted territory, and support the strategic planning already underway as Moderna works to deliver mRNA medicines and vaccines to address serious unmet medical needs in the U.S. and globally.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Moncef to the Moderna board. I’ve had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with and getting to know him over the past year. Being able to leverage Moncef’s experience, skills and insights will be invaluable as we continue to evolve Moderna into a large development organization with 12 mRNA therapeutic and vaccine development candidates announced to date and several more to follow in the near term,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer at Moderna.
Dr. Slaoui served as the Chairman of Global Vaccines at GSK since 2009. His previous roles at GSK included Chairman of Global Research and Development and Vaccines, Chairman of Research and Development, and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Business Development and External Alliances. Dr. Slaoui was Chairman of GSK’s Pipeline Investment Board (PIB) between 2006 and 2015 and served as a Director of GSK from 2006 to 2017. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Galvani, a bioelectronics-dedicated biotech co-owned by GSK and Verily, an Alphabet company. Dr. Slaoui previously was a member of the Advisory Board of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, or A*STAR, in Singapore, and a member of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Advisory Committee to the Director. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board to the Qatar Foundation.
Dr. Slaoui was a Professor of Immunology at the University of Mons, Belgium. He has authored more than 100 scientific papers and presentations. Dr. Slaoui earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Immunology from the University Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is a clinical stage pioneer of messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, an entirely new drug technology that directs the body’s cells to produce intracellular or secreted proteins. With its breakthrough platform, Moderna is developing mRNA vaccines and therapeutics as a new class of medicines for a wide range of diseases and conditions, in many cases by addressing currently undruggable targets. Moderna is developing its innovative mRNA medicines for infectious diseases, cancer (immuno-oncology), rare diseases, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease, through proprietary development and collaborations with strategic partners.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., privately held Moderna currently has strategic agreements with AstraZeneca, Merck and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense; the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.