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The Boston Globe

Business

Moderna in line for $240m licensing deal

Moderna Therapeutics Inc., a Cambridge biotechnology start-up launched with venture capital funding last year, is set to disclose Thursday that it will receive a $240 million upfront payment to license its protein-stimulating technology to drug giant AstraZeneca PLC.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will use Moderna’s “messenger RNA” technology — which stimulates the body’s ability to produce therapeutic proteins — to develop as many as 40 drugs over the next five years to combat cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

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