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Merck & Co. is expanding its partnership with the mRNA company Moderna Therapeutics. Merck will make a $125 million investment into the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech and begin clinical tests of a Moderna cancer vaccine. The vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system to spot and destroy cancer cells that have any of the four most common mutations of a protein called KRas, which is one of cancer’s toughest drug targets, found in about 30% of all tumors. Merck is eager to test the vaccine in combination with its checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy Keytruda.
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