Moderna, Immatics ink $120m cancer-focused partnership

The multi-platform cancer-focused partnership will see Moderna combine its mRNA technology with Immatics’ TCR platform.

Millie Nelson, Editor

September 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Moderna, Immatics ink $120m cancer-focused partnership

The multi-platform cancer-focused partnership will see Moderna combine its mRNA technology with Immatics’ TCR platform.

In its latest deal to expand beyond COVID-19, messenger RNA (mRNA) firm Moderna has partnered with German drug developer Immatics to develop cancer vaccines and therapeutics. Moderna will pay the company $120 million upfront in cash.

If specific development, regulatory, and commercial milestones are met, Immatics could receive over $1.7 billion in payments. According to both parties, the R&D collaboration will focus on three elements.



It will apply Moderna’s mRNA technology for in vivo expression of Immatics’ TCR bispecifics (TCER) targeting cancer-specific HLA-presented peptides. Furthermore, the partnership enables the discovery and advancement of mRNA-based cancer vaccines using Moderna’s mRNA expertise alongside Immatics’ tumor and normal tissue data involved in the discovery platform XPRESIDENT and its artificial intelligence (AI) technology XCUBE. Additionally, Immatics’ T-cell receptor (TCR-T) therapy will be evaluated with Moderna’s PRAME mRNA-based cancer vaccine. The partnership will consider carrying out preclinical studies and a Phase I clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of the combination.

“We are excited to embark on this strategic collaboration with Immatics, a pioneer in developing innovative cancer immunotherapies,”  said Rose Loughlin, Moderna’s senior vice president for Research and Early Development.

“This partnership presents a groundbreaking opportunity to leverage our mRNA technology alongside Immatics’ TCR platform, potentially diversifying and augmenting the way we approach cancer treatment. We believe this collaboration will accelerate the development of novel oncology therapies and bring us one step closer to providing significant benefits for patients with high unmet medical needs.”

Moderna’s mRNA activity

Moderna is already developing an mRNA cancer vaccine, mRNA-4157/V940, with Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside north America).

Moderna transferred personalized cancer vaccine capabilities to its production facility in Norwood, Massachusetts in March 2019 and used the site to make materials for mRNA-4157, which is in combination with Merck’s PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in patients with resected melanoma. In February, Moderna announced it would continue to use Personalis’ NeXT platform to clinically evaluate mRNA-4157/V940.

This month in related news, Shanghai CARsgen announced it would collaborate with Moderna to test a combination of their clinical stage Claudin18.2 cancer therapies in solid tumor cancers.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

You May Also Like