Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today announced that José M. Vega, M.D. joined Moderna as Chief Safety Officer effective Monday, January 11, 2021. Dr. Vega will report to Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D.
“José brings a strategic level of leadership and deep experience in drug development and pharmacovigilance in global biopharmaceutical companies including Merck and Amgen,” said Dr. Zaks. “I am thrilled to welcome José to the Moderna team as we enter the next phase of growth of our company.”
Dr. Vega joins Moderna from Merck (NYSE: MRK) where he led the Global Clinical Safety and Pharmacovigilance organization and served as the Chief Safety Officer for Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) since 2013. In this role, he led a global team of nearly 600 safety and pharmacovigilance professionals in Clinical Safety Risk Management, Medical Safety Review, Global Pharmacovigilance, and the EU Qualified Person for Pharmacovigilance (QPPV) groups.
Prior to Merck, Dr. Vega spent 10 years at Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN), where he held the role of Vice President, Global Safety for more than 5 years and led global efforts for safety signal detection and assessment, pharmacovigilance, pharmacoepidemiology, and therapeutic area safety. Upon joining Amgen in 2003, Dr. Vega led the Proof of Concept Group in Early Development and served for several years as the Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head for General Medicine in Global Clinical Development.
Between 1997 and 2003, Dr. Vega served in roles of increasing responsibility at Merck Research Laboratories, initially in Clinical Pharmacology and then in the role of Senior Director in Clinical Drug Metabolism. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Vega practiced and taught at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as an emergency department attending physician for 5 years and as part of an academic primary care and internal medicine practice for more than 2 years.
“I am delighted to join Moderna and look forward to supporting its mission to deliver on the promise of mRNA science to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients by fulfilling our uncompromising commitment to patient safety and ensuring the highest standards of quality and compliance,” said Dr. Vega.
Dr. Vega has been a member of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) Steering Committee since 2008, representing Amgen from 2008 to 2013 and Merck since 2014. He has been a member of the TransCelerate Pharmacovigilance Steering Committee since 2016 and chaired the committee from 2016 to 2018.
Dr. Vega received a B.A. in Biochemical Sciences summa cum laude from Harvard College and an M.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University. Dr. Vega received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.
In 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a science research-stage company advancing programs in the promising-but-still-unproven field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with its first medicine having treated millions of people, a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across six modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production at scale and at unprecedented speed. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use of one of the earliest and most-effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and auto-immune diseases. Today, 24 development programs are underway across these therapeutic areas, with 13 programs having entered the clinic. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past six years. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.