Former Akamai CEO Paul Sagan Joins Moderna’s Board of Directors
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 14, 2018 — Moderna Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today announced that Paul Sagan has joined the company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Sagan brings a wealth of experience as an independent corporate director in addition to being the former CEO of Akamai Technologies, Inc., from 2005 - 2013, where he remains a member of the company’s board.
“We are focused on continuously strengthening our board with leaders from across industries who understand the complexity of building pioneering companies and translating breakthrough innovations into long-term benefit for individuals and society,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-Founder and Chairman of Moderna Therapeutics and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Pioneering. “Paul is that kind of visionary leader and I am excited he has joined Moderna’s board, bringing his insights as a technology executive to a life sciences company that leverages digital drug design and automation throughout the enterprise.”
“Throughout my career, I have sought to work with companies that innovate to solve seemingly intractable challenges, and do so in ways that change traditional business paradigms,” said Mr. Sagan. “Moderna has these qualities, and I am looking forward to helping the board and management team advance their vision of creating mRNA medicines to change the way many diseases may be treated in the future.”
Today Moderna has 10 programs in clinical development and 19 development candidates in its pipeline overall, including potential new medicines that span infectious disease vaccines, cancer vaccines, intratumoral immuno-oncology, local regenerative therapeutics, and systemic therapeutics.
With the addition of Mr. Sagan, Dr. John Mendlein will now come off Moderna’s board of directors. Dr. Mendlein joined Moderna’s Executive Committee at the beginning of 2018 in the role of President, Corporate and Product Strategy. He had served on the board since 2012.
“I want to thank John for his many contributions to our board and his ongoing commitment to our vision and science. We are thrilled that he will continue to be part of our leadership team,” said Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel. “I now look forward to working with Paul and benefitting from his guidance and experience leading hyper-growth companies. Throughout his career, Paul has demonstrated a vision and passion for new technology and developing markets for those technologies, and I am pleased to welcome him to our team as we work to bring important new medicines to patients.”
In addition to serving on the Akamai board, Mr. Sagan is the Lead Director of VMware, Inc. and he previously served as a director of iRobot Corp., and as a board member of Digitas Inc., Dow Jones & Company, and EMC Corp. before they were acquired.
Mr. Sagan began his career as a television journalist and his work was recognized with three Emmy Awards for broadcast news in New York City. Later he joined Time Warner to co-found three businesses: NY1, the 24-hour cable news network; Roadrunner, the world’s first consumer broadband service; and Pathfinder, one of the first internet advertising platforms. He joined internet pioneer Akamai as COO in 1998 and later served as president and CEO.
Mr. Sagan is a managing director at General Catalyst, and he is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he is a life trustee. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ProPublica, and as Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
About Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna is a leader in the discovery and development of messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, an entirely new class of medicines that directs the body’s cells to produce intracellular or secreted proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventive benefit for both patients and healthy individuals. With its breakthrough platform, Moderna is creating mRNA medicines for a wide range of diseases and conditions, in many cases by addressing currently undruggable targets or underserved areas of medical need. Moderna is developing its innovative mRNA medicines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, and cardiovascular diseases, through solely controlled programs and collaborations with strategic partners.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., privately held Moderna currently has strategic relationships with AstraZeneca, Plc. (AZ), Merck, Inc (MRK) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense; the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2017 Moderna was ranked a top biopharma industry employer by Science Magazine and a Top Place to Work by the Boston Globe. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.