Moderna is hiring 2,000 employees this year. Here’s where they’ll be.

Moderna is hiring 2,000 employees this year. Here’s where they’ll be.

By   –  Life Sciences Reporter, Boston Business Journal

Moderna Inc. is hiring another 2,000 employees this year, a move that would massively grow its headcount — and most of them will be in Massachusetts.

The Cambridge-based company (Nasdaq: MRNA) currently employs around 4,000 people globally, CEO Stephane Bancel told investors at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference earlier this month, when he first announced the hiring plans. Chief human resources officer Tracey Franklin told the Business Journal that the majority of the new hires will be in Massachusetts, split between Cambridge and Norwood.

All told, the new hires will be divvied up evenly across functions: clinical development, digital, commercial and manufacturing. And while most of the 2,000 will be in Massachusetts, Moderna has some hiring planned at other sites. The company currently operates in about 17 countries.

Moderna recently signed new leases in both Cambridge and Norwood. In 2021, the company announced plans for a new, 426,000-square-foot headquarters branded as the “Moderna Science Center,” down the street from its existing labs in Kendall Square. The same year, it leased a new office near its existing manufacturing center in Norwood, with the potential for hundreds of thousands of square feet in new development.

“We look at how the pipeline is progressing,” Franklin said. “We say: How do we need to grow to make sure we’re able to successfully walk a product out the door?”

The growth in headcount is slated to coincide with Moderna’s next phase as a company. To date, Moderna’s only commercial products are its Covid-19 vaccines, but that is likely to change in short order.

Last week, Moderna said it planned to file for FDA approval of its new vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, for adults over 60 years old, based on trial data showing it was 84% effective at preventing lower respiratory tract diseases. And in December, the company announced positive results from a mid-stage trial of a personalized cancer vaccine it’s developing with Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK).

The cancer vaccine is slated to enter a Phase 3 trial later this year. It is that drug that’s underpinning much of the hiring plans, Franklin said.

“I would say there’s probably roughly around 1,000 that will be focused in personalized cancer, and manufacturing more broadly, including operations,” she said. “Personalized cancer vaccine has a huge growth opportunity.”

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