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Biotech giant Moderna is now valued at $7.5 billion

It’s now one of the country’s highest-worth startups.

An engineer holds up a measure while doing work in a water treatment lab. DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

One of the biggest U.S. biotech startups, Moderna Therapeutics, is slated to raise another $500 million in financing that values the drug company at $7.5 billion.

That new investment makes Moderna — which develops experimental drugs to cure things like cancer through messenger RNA, or mRNA — one of the country’s most valuable startups. The financing round was discovered in a fundraising document obtained by PitchBook.

Moderna did not respond to requests for comment. The company has not announced which investors are behind this $500 million injection of cash, but previous backers have included biotech specialists like Flagship Ventures and pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca.

The company last raised money in Jaunary 2015 in a deal that valued the company at $4.75 billion. The fundraising document merely authorizes the company to raise that $500 million — it could choose to raise less.

Moderna, led by Stéphane Bancel and based in Cambridge, Mass., is taking on the drug industry by promising to make it possible for humans to create medications from their own molecules. The secretive company, though, has drawn scrutiny for its “caustic work environment.”

As of Jan. 1, Moderna has said it had $910 million in cash.

Update: The company has now confirmed the financing and said new investors include Sequoia Capital China, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Julius Baer.

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