Pharma company sheds more jobs and backs messenger RNA therapeutics

After announcing a significant restructuring of its R&D division last week, including the loss of 1600 jobs, AstraZeneca (AZ) has today announced further cuts of 2300 sales and administration jobs as part of its overall strategy.

However, the company also announced that it is partnering with Moderna Therapeutics, a small start-up from Cambridge, US. Moderna has developed a way to use messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule cells use to turn DNA into proteins, to stimulate the production of specific proteins in cells where disease has diminished or eliminated their ability to do so.

AZ will pay Moderna $240 million (£158 million) up front, with a further $180 million associated with achieving three technical milestones.