Medford-based biotech company joins research race for coronavirus vaccine

MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Another local biotechnology company is joining the research race for a coronavirus vaccine.

Greenlight Biosciences in Medford announced Tuesday that it has raised $17 million from new and existing investors to build out its scalable mRNA production capability targeting the production of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to expanding its manufacturing capacity, the company is also developing several differentiated mRNA vaccine candidates against the coronavirus.

“An effective vaccine against COVID-19 is the only realistic means to stave off the spread of COVID-19 and enable a re-start of our global societies and economies. mRNA based vaccines offer the best approach for a fast response,” said Dr. Andrey Zarur, CEO of GreenLight. “Our mRNA manufacturing platform has the potential to produce any mRNA vaccine candidate at a global scale and affordable cost.”

Cambridge-based biotechnology company Moderna is also working on a coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier this week, the United States Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation to Moderna for the company’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.

Moderna is preparing to begin phase two of their vaccine trial.

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