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Moderna, Chiesi team up to develop RNA therapies for hypertension

Moderna Inc. and Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA entered into a collaboration to develop messenger RNA therapies for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH.

PAH is a progressive disorder characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs with concomitant right heart failure. Messenger RNA, or mRNA, therapies work by directing the body's cells to produce certain proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventive benefit against certain disease.

Under the collaboration, Moderna will use its mRNA technology and delivery platforms to lead discovery efforts. Italy's Chiesi, on the other hand, will lead development and worldwide commercialization activities and will fund all expenses related to the collaboration.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna will receive $25 million up front under the deal, and is eligible for over $400 million in milestone payments as well as tiered, double-digit royalties on net sales.

Moderna is developing medicines and vaccines for various diseases, including infectious diseases, immuno-oncology and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Chiesi develops drugs in the respiratory therapeutics, specialist medicine and rare disease areas.