Moderna Therapeutics, a private biotech firm worth a reported $7.5 billion, lost its head of vaccines just after the company raised $500 million on the promise of advancing vaccines into late-stage trials.

Giuseppe Ciaramella, who joined Moderna in 2014, left the company in February for a job at an early-stage biotech startup, according to people familiar with the matter. As chief scientific officer of Moderna’s vaccine business, Ciaramella managed the company’s most-advanced projects, authoring the firm’s journal publications and shepherding seven investigational vaccines into clinical trials.

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