Teaching the body to make its own medicine
Moderna Inc., a biotechnology business established in 2010, has been devoted to research and developing a novel therapeutic method that may enable the body to develop its own medicine messenger RNA (mRNA).
mRNA provides information to cells to develop a specific protein. This biological ability makes it unique, making it unique, as a preventive and therapeutic method, depending on the protein it encodes.
It is also beneficial from a pharmaceutical and public health perspective. Once a technology platform has been established to safely deliver mRNA to the body, manufacture it, and scale-up, this platform may be efficiently adapted for various kinds of mRNA codes; versatility is required in emergencies such as a global health danger.
Infected diseases at Moderna had already worked on its mRNA technology platform for a decade as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Its aim was to speed up the development and manufacturing of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine SpikeVax.
SpikeVax was approved in 70 countries in 2021, and the vaccine is now available worldwide. According to recent statistics, approximately 145.99 million doses have been administered.
Moderna''s mRNA platform will be refined alongside its IAVI''s experience in product development to improve the discovery and production of vaccines and antibody therapies. Some of these programs are already in clinical testing, while others are working through pre-clinical development.
Molly Campbell (MC): It has been claimed that we are now in a mRNA revolution. Can you talk about how the mRNA technology landscape has evolved in recent decades, so that science can achieve this revolution? Are there any key challenges or breakthroughs that stand out?
Sunny Himansu (SH): While mRNA is not new to science and research organizations, this study has discovered the potential of mRNAs in allowing the body to produce a specific protein, making it a unique way of preventing or treating certaindiseases.
Our understanding has evolved and we have learned that mRNA is extremely versatile and it can be used to teach the body to make its own medicine. By the beginning of the pandemic, Moderna had addressed most of the technical challenges of mRNA technology and was focused on broadening a very effective process of development and manufacture. However, one of the initial challenges we faced, and have since overcome, was stabilizing the mRNA so it wouldn''t be quickly degraded in the body.
We have developed expertise in lipid nanoparticles, or LNPs, to ensure that vaccine delivery is managed with Modernas'' proprietary LNP technology. This has been key to the success of the company''s COVID-19 vaccine.
MC: Can you talk about the Modernas mRNA technology platform, as well as how it can be used for vaccinations and antibody therapies?
SH: Since our founding in 2010, we have worked to develop the world''s leading mRNA technology platform. We spent the majority of the first decade developing the science of mRNA technology and developing how we use it to prevent or treat illnesses, founded on the belief that the potential for mRNA to help treat and prevent diseases was endless.
The most interesting thing about mRNA is that it has the ability to teach the body how to make its own medicine. Moderna is developing and testing new mRNA medicines for a wide range of illnesses, a process that starts with identifying a protein that may cure or treat a certain disease. From there, our scientists create an mRNA that contains instructions for this protein. This technique is designed to support high protein expression. We encapsulate our mRNA in a hydrophobic nanoparticle (LNP
Our scientists developed a mRNA vaccine that allows the body to make proteins calledhemagglutinin and neuraminidase to help your immune system fight off different flu strains.Moderna is also working on other types of mRNA medicines, not just vaccines. mRNA medicines that are suitable for patients withcancer, rare diseases, and other diseases.
Moderna is developing a partnership with IAVI in order to combat global health goals. Can you see how this partnership came to be?
SH: Our main goal is and always will be to protect as many lives as possible through the use of mRNA technology. The collaboration with IAVI will enable us to address the broader range of global health hazards, including HIV/AIDS, TB, antimicrobial-resistant enteric infections, and COVID-19. These diseases have estimated to have resulted in at least 95 million new infections and more than 4 million deaths in 2020 alone. We hope that combining Moderna''s mRNA platform and IAVI''s expertise
MC: What are the key goals for the partnership, and how will the partnership support both the development and the availability of mRNA-based vaccines/ antibodies?
SH: This partnership is to leverage the power of the mRNA platform to accelerate the development of products for challenging but high public health impacts indications such as a vaccination against HIV-1. With the Modernas platform and the IAVIs antigen design, we aim to leverage the synergistic expertise to combat these specific disease states and pathogens.
Can you discuss the Modernas clinical pipeline and why certain focus areas have been selected, according to MC?
SH: Through collaboration research and development, we are committed to pursuing innovative solutions to combating infectious diseases that pose the greatest threat to public health.
We have recently announced four new initiatives aimed at increasing the use of moderna''s mRNA technology to research new vaccines against emerging or neglected infectious diseases. Second, we have established a partnership to encourage new vaccinations with moderna''s mRNA technology to help develop new vaccinations. We have also expanded our patent promise to never enforce COVID-19 patents in the Gavi COVAX AMC for 92 low- and middle-income countries.
Finally, we announced that, with the assistance of the US government, we have reached a protocol of agreement with the Government of the Republic of Kenya to establish Kenya as the facility for its mRNA manufacturing division.
These initiatives represent the organization''s desire to have a positive impact on global health through our technologies.
MC: What does Moderna''s future look like in medicine?
SH: At Moderna, we believe that mRNA may treat one illness, and that it is likely to be leveraged across other therapeutic areas.
Compared to traditional vaccinations, speed is a benefit. We also learned that we might combine vaccines against a variety of pathogens with one dose. Fortunately, mRNA technology has the potential to offer individuals instruction to make diverse medications with their own bodies.