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In just a few years, Moderna went from stock market dud to moonshot, a prime example of how Massachusetts’ life sciences and tech companies, riding a powerful Wall Street wave, can create wealth that ripples through the local economy.

If you weren’t paying attention — and most people outside of the biotech industry weren’t — the Cambridge company’s shares went nowhere after its initial public offering in late 2018. Nowhere, that is, until Moderna jumped into the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine about a year later.

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