Meet the Minds Behind Moderna, the Underdog Leading the COVID-19 Vaccine Race
Moderna Therapeutics wasn’t a household name even a month ago, but news about its highly promising COVID-19 vaccine has made the biotechnology firm a topic of conversation around the world.
The company’s vaccine has proven to be 94.5% effective in early analysis, slightly more effective than the solution announced by Pfizer and BioNTech late last week. With these promising results, both companies should be ready to ask the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for authorization in the coming weeks.
A lot is known about the company’s vaccine efforts, but who is behind the company that could return a sense of normalcy to the world with the prick of a needle?
The company was founded in 2010 and has been led by CEO Stéphane Bancel since 2011. Bancel, who owns 9% of the company, is a seasoned biotech executive who spent six years at the helm of French diagnostics company BioMérieux and another six years in various leadership roles at American pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company.
But Bancel can’t do it alone and is surrounded by a lineup of all-star executives that are helping create and distribute game-changing medical advancements, like the COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks has overseen Moderna’s clinical development efforts and regulatory affairs since he joined the company in 2015. Zaks is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the former SVP and Head of Global Oncology at Sanofi, where he led oncology drug discovery, development, and commercialization.
Zaks’ clinical development efforts are made possible by the Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer Juan Andres, who is responsible for the supply of product required for Moderna’s preclinical and clinical development programs. Andres and his team also scale Moderna’s CMC (chemistry, manufacturing, and controls) processes and lead all CMC late-stage development and future commercialization activities.
These executive are just the tip of the iceberg, be sure to check out our exclusive org chart to learn about the Moderna employees leading the charge against COVID-19!
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