Flagship Pioneering

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Flagship Pioneering
Private company
Founded1999; 22 years ago (1999)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
United States
Key people
Noubar Afeyan (Founder & Chief executive officer)

Flagship Pioneering is an American life sciences company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts[1][2][3] that founds biotechnology, life sciences, health and sustainability companies, including the biotechnology company Moderna.[4] The firm is known for funding companies that it creates and incubates in-house.[5]


The company was founded in Cambridge in 1999 by Noubar Afeyan under the name NewcoGen (short for "new company generation"). A few years later, the name was changed to Flagship Ventures, and again in 2016 to Flagship Pioneering.[2]

In late 2010, Flagship formed Moderna, which focuses on drug discovery, drug development, and vaccine technologies based exclusively on messenger RNA (mRNA).[4][6]


  1. Fry, Erika (May 19, 2020). "How the biotech investor behind Moderna is using the 'immigrant mindset' to take on COVID-19". Fortune.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stendahl, Max (December 15, 2016). "A new name and new fund will ensure Cambridge's Flagship 'feels like a startup'". Boston Business Journal.
  3. Saltzman, Jonathan (April 2, 2020). "VC firm Flagship Pioneering raises $1.1b for biotech startups, despite reeling economy". Boston Globe.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dunn, Andrew (May 23, 2020). "The untold story of Moderna as the biotech's coronavirus vaccine faces a test that could make it one of the most consequential startups of all time". Business Insider.
  5. DeAngelis, Allison (April 2, 2020). "With $1.1B in hand, life sciences investor Flagship rewrites its rulebook". Boston Business Journal.
  6. Garde, Damian (November 10, 2020). "The story of mRNA: How a once-dismissed idea became a leading technology in the Covid vaccine race". Stat.

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