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This $5 Billion Startup Made Its First Cancer Vaccine—for Just One Person

Nov. 15, 2017, 7:20 PM

For Moderna Therapeutics, the road to a cancer breakthrough begins on the back of a FedEx truck.

Six weeks ago, a 1-millimeter cube of cancer tissue collected by doctors from the right lung of 67-year-old retiree Glenda Cleaver was packed in a box at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tenn. It was the beginning of a journey Moderna hopes will lead to a long-sought goal: a vaccine that trains the body to attack tumors.

Novel cancer drugs often come with six-figure price tags, so success could be lucrative. Numerous companies are chasing a cancer vaccine. Others have been ...

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