Moderna exercises option to license proprietary targeting technology from Autolus

Option exercised on undisclosed immune-oncology target following evaluation period by Moderna 

Autolus receives option exercise fee, with potential for development milestone payments plus royalties 

October 12, 2022 - Autolus Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: AUTL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programed T cell therapies, today announces that Moderna (MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, has exercised its option to license Autolus’ proprietary binders against an undisclosed immuno-oncology target for the development and commercialization of mRNA therapeutics.

This follows an original agreement with Moderna announced on August 2, 2021, granting Moderna an exclusive option to license Autolus’ proprietary binders for up to four immuno-oncology targets for incorporation in certain mRNA therapeutics. On exercise of the option, Autolus has received an option exercise payment and is eligible to receive development and commercial milestone payments for each product successfully commercialized. In addition, Autolus would be entitled to receive royalties on net sales of all products commercialized under the agreement.

“The collaboration with Moderna has been a productive partnership, and it’s great to see this work progressing to the next stage” said Dr. Martin Pule, CSO of Autolus. “The use of our technology in Moderna’s mRNA platform continues to underscore Autolus’ leadership in the development of innovative differentiated binder and cell programming technologies.”

About Autolus Therapeutics plc

Autolus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation, programed T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. Using a broad suite of proprietary and modular T cell programming technologies, the Company is engineering precisely targeted, controlled and highly active T cell therapies that are designed to better recognize cancer cells, break down their defense mechanisms and eliminate these cells. Autolus has a pipeline of product candidates in development for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts, and in some cases can be identified by terms such as "may," "will," "could," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," and "believes." These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the development and commercialization of licensed products, the achievement of milestones, and the potential benefits of the licensed technology. Any forward-looking statements are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks that programs incorporating the licensed technology do not advance or result in approved products on a timely or cost-effective basis or at all, and the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause Autolus’ actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section titled "Risk Factors" in Autolus' Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 10, 2022, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Autolus' subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Autolus undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.


Olivia Manser

+44 (0) 7780 471568

Julia Wilson

+44 (0) 7818 430877

Susan A. Noonan

S.A. Noonan Communications


Back to News and insights