CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Moderna Therapeutics, the pioneering company developing messenger RNA therapeutics™—a revolutionary new treatment modality to enable the in vivo production of therapeutic proteins—announced today that Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme's retired chairman, president, and CEO, has joined Moderna's board of directors.
Over nearly 30 years at Genzyme, Termeer built one of the world's most innovative and commercially successful biotechnology companies. Under his leadership, Genzyme pioneered new models for sustainably bringing first-ever therapies to patients who were previously underserved. Termeer joins Moderna's board as the company embarks on the next phase of its growth strategy, strengthened by a strategic option agreement with AstraZeneca to develop new medicines for cardiometabolic diseases and by the continued progress of its preclinical programs in rare diseases and oncology.
"Messenger RNA therapeutics™ hold the same revolutionary potential as recombinant proteins did when they were first introduced nearly 30 years ago," said Noubar Afeyan, Chairman of Moderna's board and CEO of Flagship Ventures, the company's lead investor. "Henri's perspective will be invaluable as we work to deliver this new category of medicines for the treatment of serious diseases."
"It is an exciting time to be joining the board of Moderna, which I believe has the potential to transform the way in which protein therapeutics are developed, and to address diseases that are not currently reachable by recombinant technologies," Termeer said. "Moderna shares the same vision, ambition, and potential as many of the early biotechnology leaders. I look forward to helping the company deliver on its vast potential to improve the lives of patients across a wide array of disease areas."
"Henri has unparalleled experience in building visionary companies and we are proud and excited to welcome him to our board," said Stephane Bancel, founding president and CEO of Moderna. "Under his leadership, Genzyme became known for its steadfast commitment to patients, and for constantly pushing new boundaries in order to bring biomedical innovation to those who were not well served by traditional approaches. This perspective will be enormously helpful to Moderna as we work to unlock the vast potential of messenger RNA therapeutics™."
About Henri A. Termeer
Henri A. Termeer served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Genzyme Corporation for nearly three decades. Mr. Termeer was appointed president of Genzyme in 1983, two years after the company's founding. He became its chief executive officer in 1985 and chairman in 1988. He retired from Genzyme in June 2011 following the acquisition of Genzyme by Sanofi in a transaction valued at more than $20 billion.
Widely acknowledged for his contributions to the biotechnology industry and health care field, Mr. Termeer is active in the areas of humanitarian assistance, policy issues, and innovation in providing access to health care.
Mr. Termeer is a Board member of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation and serves on its Executive Committee, a director of Massachusetts General Hospital, Board member of Partners HealthCare, a member of the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School and on the Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He also serves on the Boards of Abiomed, Inc., AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Verastem, Inc., and Medical Simulation Corporation. In 2008, he was appointed to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's Council of Economic Advisors and he is a co-chair of the Leadership Council of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative. Mr. Termeer is also Chairman Emeritus of the New England Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit, applied research health policy organization he was instrumental in founding. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.
Mr. Termeer was Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Board of Directors from 2010-2011 and served on the Board of Directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Mr. Termeer studied economics at the Economische Hogeschool (Erasmus University, The Netherlands) and earned an M.B.A from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Mr. Termeer has been recognized by several highly regarded organizations for his contributions to the health care and entrepreneurial fields.
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics™, an entirely new in vivo drug modality that produces human proteins or antibodies inside patient cells, which are in turn active intracellularly or secreted. This breakthrough platform addresses currently undruggable targets and offers a superior alternative to existing drug modalities for a wide range of disease conditions. Moderna has developed a broad intellectual property estate including 120 patent applications with 6,500 claims ranging from novel nucleotide chemistries to specific drug compositions. The company plans to develop and commercialize its innovative mRNA drugs—initially for rare diseases and oncology—while partnering drug candidates in other therapeutic areas in order to rapidly deliver this innovation to patients. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moderna is privately held and was founded in 2010 by Flagship VentureLabs in association with leading scientists from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Visit www.modernatx.com to learn more.
For information contact:
Feinstein Kean Healthcare
SOURCE Moderna Therapeutics