CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Moderna, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today announced that Dr. Wellington Sun will join the company as its Head, Vaccine Strategy and Regulatory Affairs, starting later this month. Dr. Sun comes to Moderna from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he was Director of the Division of Vaccines and Related Product Applications at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). Dr. Sun will report to Dr. Tal Zaks, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Moderna.
“We are delighted to welcome Wellington to Moderna. As an infectious disease specialist and with extensive experience in vaccine research, regulatory affairs and clinical trial design, he is uniquely qualified to shape our development strategy as we work to advance our broad portfolio of mRNA-based development candidates,” said Dr. Zaks.
Moderna has 21 mRNA development candidates in its pipeline with 10 in clinical development. This includes nine infectious disease vaccine programs, with seven currently in Phase 1 trials.
“I look forward to bringing my clinical, scientific and regulatory experience to help realize the potential of mRNA technology in preventing intractable infectious diseases through the development of safe and effective vaccines,” said Dr. Sun. “I am excited to work with the team here to identify new development candidates while progressing the portfolio of existing clinical programs.”
During his decade-long tenure at the FDA, Dr. Sun oversaw approvals of 28 original infectious disease vaccine applications and more than 100 supplement applications for new indications. While there, he worked closely with partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, on infectious disease vaccine issues and policies. He also worked with the World Health Organization and global regulatory agencies to address clinical trial and regulatory issues related to emerging infectious diseases such as the H1N1 pandemic and Ebola and Zika epidemics.
Dr. Sun joined the FDA from the CDC, where he led field and laboratory research on Dengue fever and West Nile virus, and was principal investigator of the first-ever controlled human infection trial in subjects previously vaccinated with tetravalent dengue vaccines. Prior to the CDC, he served for 27 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, working as both a clinician and then as a vaccine researcher at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. While there he led the Department of Defense respiratory adenovirus and flavivirus basic and clinical research programs.
Dr. Sun holds an M.D. from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a B.A. from Harvard University. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.
About Moderna, Inc.
Moderna pioneers the discovery and development of messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, an entirely new class of medicines that directs the body’s cells to produce intracellular or secreted proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventive benefit for both patients and healthy individuals. With its breakthrough platform, Moderna is creating mRNA medicines for a wide range of diseases and conditions, in many cases by addressing currently undruggable targets or underserved areas of medical need. Moderna is developing its innovative mRNA medicines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, and cardiovascular diseases, through solely controlled programs and collaborations with strategic partners.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., privately held Moderna currently has strategic relationships with AstraZeneca, Plc. (AZ), Merck, Inc. (MRK) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), 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. In 2017, Moderna was ranked a top biopharma industry employer by Science and a Top Place to Work by the Boston Globe. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.