Protas is delighted to announce a new strategic partnership with Moderna, the leading biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA). Moderna’s mission is to deliver the greatest possible impact to people through mRNA medicines.
This strategic partnership is a significant first demonstration of Moderna’s multifaceted commitment to the UK Life Sciences sector and follows the announcement of a strategic partnership with the UK Government to establish a state-of-the-art Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre in the UK, encompassing mRNA, research, development and manufacturing. Moderna will also deliver a significant share of its clinical trials in the UK and will support Protas’ efforts to radically alter the way clinical trials are designed and delivered to better meet the needs of patients and society. This announcement follows similar agreements that Protas made with Sanofi and Regeneron earlier this year.
Protas is led by the epidemiologist and physician, Professor Sir Martin Landray, who has over 20 years’ experience of leading large, randomized clinical trials as part of a team at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health. Most recently, he has been leading the landmark RECOVERY clinical trial into treatments for COVID-19 which identified that treatment with the inexpensive steroid drug, dexamethasone, improved the chances of survival for the most severe cases.
Professor Sir Martin Landray, Chief Executive of Protas, said: “We are very pleased to have signed a strategic partnership with Moderna, marking the start of a long-term collaboration to deliver smarter clinical trials for better health. Moderna has considerable expertise in the clinical trials sphere and is a pioneer of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. Our strategic partners have an important role to play in growing Protas’ capacity to deliver high-quality trials for life-saving treatments at a fraction of current costs and we look forward to working with the team to improve outcomes for patients in the UK and globally.”
Dr Melanie Ivarsson, Chief Development Officer at Moderna, said: “We are excited to partner with Protas to disrupt and digitise traditional approaches to delivering clinical trials, particularly those assessing potential new therapies that apply to large populations – like vaccines. We see the UK as an ideal place to explore new ways of working with clinical researchers and healthcare systems, to deliver robust evidence, at pace and inclusively. This partnership is the first demonstration of our commitment to invest in the UK life sciences ecosystem.”
Protas will combine smart randomized trial design with effective technology, aiming to encourage the development of more effective treatments for conditions which affect a large proportion of the population and place huge pressure on health services. It will do this at a fraction of the cost of current trials, by minimising complexity and designing trials that focus on the elements that matter most to the participants in the trial and to those future patients whose care will be impacted by the results. Protas will also use an integrated technology system to support the safe, trustworthy and efficient use of data to deliver its trials and generate the evidence needed to bring treatments to patients.
Protas has also received funding grants from venture capital firm GV, Flu Lab, a charitable organisation fuelling bold approaches to defeat influenza, and Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt.
Protas is a not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to designing and delivering smart, large-scale and global clinical trials on treatments for common and other life-threatening diseases. By conducting high quality clinical trials at a fraction of the current industry cost, Protas will encourage the development of more treatments for common and other life-threatening diseases, which could have profound implications for patients and the health systems that care for them. Protas is led by one of the most experienced and acclaimed clinical trialists in the world and supported by a highly respected Board. Protas received initial grant support from NHS England but will generate income through collaborations with the private sector and philanthropic organisations who wish to see smarter trials tackle common and other life-threatening conditions. More information can be found at https://protas.co.uk
In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna (known in the UK as Moderna Biotech UK) has transformed from a science research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both ground-breaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use of effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and auto-immune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past eight years. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com
Biography of Professor Sir Martin Landray
Sir Martin Landray is CEO of Protas, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and a consultant hospital physician. He has over 20 years’ experience of leading large, randomized trials, particularly of new treatments for heart and kidney disease. Since March 2020, he has co-led the RECOVERY trial, the world’s largest trial of treatments for COVID-19, producing practice-changing results for 10 treatments (including the demonstration that dexamethasone, tocilizumab, baricitinib, and neutralising monoclonal antibodies improve survival for selected patients with severe diseases). He works closely with regulators, industry, academia, patient groups and government organizations to improve all aspects of clinical trials and leads the Good Clinical Trials Collaborative that is developing and promoting the implementation of better guidelines and regulations for randomized trials. He was a lead contributor to the G7 Clinical Trials Charter and the 100 Days Mission for Pandemic Preparedness. In June 2021, he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to public health and science.
UK Director of Communications