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Moderna (MRNA) Inks Genetic Medicines Deal With Generation Bio

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Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) announced a strategic collaboration with Generation Bio (GBIO - Free Report) to develop non-viral gene therapies. For this, it will leverage the latter’s core technologies, closed-end DNA (ceDNA) and cell-targeted lipid nanoparticle delivery system (ctLNP) technologies. In the past year, shares of Moderna have plunged 9.9% compared with the industry's 14.8% decline.

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Generation Bio’s shares were up almost 29% on Mar 23, after the collaboration announcement. In the past year, shares of Generation Bio have plunged 25.4%, respectively, compared with the industry's 19.8% decline.

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MRNA has purchased an option to co-develop two immune cell programs and two liver programs, with an option of another program for either liver or immune cell therapy through ceDNA and ctLNP technologies. It will be funding all the collaborative research and development activities.

Per the Agreement, GBIO will receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million. Moderna is also making an equity investment of $36 million in Generation Bio, which is also entitled to potential exclusivity fees, milestones and royalties from MRNA. 

GBIO’s non-viral genetic medicines platform includes its proprietary ceDNA and ctLNP technologies that can potentially target the liver for gene replacement and immune cells with diverse nucleic acid cargos. The partnership will expand Moderna's research into new areas.

Moderna's biological and technical expertise, combined with the core technologies of GBIO's non-viral genetic medicine platform, aims to expand the application of each company's platform by developing novel nucleic acid therapeutics to accelerate their respective pipelines of non-viral genetic medicines.

Moderna has an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax (mRNA-1273), approved for use in adults. The company has several promising pipeline candidates in different stages of development, targeting multiple indications, including cancer and cardiovascular. It is also developing a few prophylactic vaccines and cancer vaccines.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Moderna has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP - Free Report) and Jasper Therapeutics (JSPR - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Loss per share estimates for CRISPR Therapeutics have narrowed from $8.21 to $7.54 for 2023 in the past 60 days.

CRSP's earnings beat estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed the mark in the other two, the average surprise being 3.19%. The company’s shares have plunged 30.5% in the past year.

Loss per share estimates for Jasper Therapeutics have narrowed from $1.42 to 61 cents for 2023 and from $1.6 to 59 cents for 2024 in the past 60 days. JSPR's shares have plunged 44.6% in the past year.

JSPR's earnings beat estimates in three of the last four quarters and met the mark in one, the average surprise being 3.51%.

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