Making more effective and efficient RNA therapeutics

Hudson Institute

RNA technology developed by Hudson Institute of Medical Research with the potential to limit inflammatory side-effects of RNA therapeutics such as mRNA vaccines, is the subject of a new licensing deal.

Associate Professor Michael Gantier, lead scientist responsible for RNA technology
Associate Professor Michael Gantier

The licensing agreement has been signed between Hudson Institute and Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmorage Pty Ltd.

The mRNA vaccine market is predicted to reach US$23 billion by 2035 and this exclusive worldwide deal has the potential to make such drugs easier to manufacture and more effective.

The lead scientist responsible for this technology, Associate Professor Michael Gantier from Hudson Institute, said that at present, a significant issue with mRNA vaccines is unwanted inflammatory side-effects including fatigue, severe headache, chills, and injection-site pain.

“The issue of inflammation triggered by mRNA vaccines directly underpins their efficacy. It conditions how much mRNA can be injected, which in turn impacts the protection the vaccine can confer.”

“Currently, both Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines tackle this problem by using a modification of their mRNAs, reducing activation of a cell immune sensor known as TLR7, but that also reduces the efficiency of vaccine production by 20-40 per cent,” A Prof Gantier said.

“Our technology switches off TLR7, and we propose that when used in conjunction with mRNA vaccines it could reduce inflammatory side-effects, without reducing manufacturing efficiencies,” he said.

“In addition, our RNA technology presents novel opportunities for the therapeutic management of a range of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases – with a potential long-lasting activity, dramatically improving the everyday life of patients.”

This technology is mature, with several lead TLR7 inhibitors now ready for pre-clinical evaluation, making it potentially attractive to both current and future manufacturers of mRNA vaccines.

Rob Clancy, Communications and Media Manager

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