Breakthrough COVID Vaccine Technology May Help Defeat Other Diseases

ZURICH / FRANKFURT: Breakthrough technology that transforms the body into a virus zapping vaccine factory is ready to revolutionize the battle COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears But future pandemics, and even cancer, have the following possibilities, scientists say. The first success of the so-called messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine in late-stage trials by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, as well as Moderna, is the first evidence that this concept works.

The efficacy rates of both experimental vaccines were over 90% based on interim findings. This is much higher than expected and well above the 50% threshold claimed by US regulators for vaccines.

Scientists now say that this technology, a slow-motion revolution since the discovery of mRNA nearly 60 years ago, could accelerate the development of new vaccines.

According to a 2013 study, the traditional method of creating a vaccine (introducing a weakened or dead virus, or part of it, to stimulate the body’s immune system) takes an average of more than 10 years. One pandemic flu vaccine took more than eight years, while the hepatitis B vaccine was manufactured for nearly 18 years.

The Moderna vaccine moved to the first human injection 63 days after sequencing.

BioNTech and Pfizer COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears Candidates on a similar trajectory will both be able to obtain regulatory approval this year. Coronavirus First appeared.

Other companies are pursuing this technology, including Germany’s CureVac, which also has an mRNA vaccine candidate, but late-stage trials have not yet begun and hope to be approved after July 2021. is. “Looking back on progress,” in 2020, “it was a real leap forward in science,” said Jeremy Farrer, director of the Wellcome Trust-backed Clinical Research Unit at Oxford University.

Last Laughter Discovered in 1961, mRNA conveys a message from the body’s DNA to cells, telling them to make proteins needed for important functions such as regulating biological processes such as digestion and fighting disease. I will. Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech experimental vaccines use lab-generated mRNA in cells CoronavirusThe spiked protein activates the immune system without replicating like a real virus. In 1990, scientists succeeded in producing proteins in mice by injecting mRNA, an early sign of technological potential.

However, early supporters such as Hungarian-born scientist and senior vice president of BioNTech, Katalin Kariko, were hampered by disorders such as the instability of mRNA in the body and its tendency to provoke an inflammatory response.

The breakthrough happened around 2005 when Calico, along with a colleague at the University of Pennsylvania, came up with a way to deliver mRNA without overdriving the immune system.

Still, it took another 15 years and a pandemic that knelt the world economy to reach its peak of success. Carico said her many years of stubborn pursuit once made her a joke ass for some college colleagues.

“The last time they laughed and ridiculed me was when I learned that I was joining BioNTech seven years ago and realized that the company didn’t even have a website,” she told Reuters. It was. “But now they have learned about BioNTech and that we can do good things.”

Calico said her life’s work can pay dividends as well as opposition COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears, But other illnesses.

“It may be easy to get a vaccine for the next antiviral product, the flu and other infectious diseases,” said Calico, whose daughter is a gold medalist rower at the US Olympics.

Cancer next?

For example, Moderna and BioNTech are also applying mRNA technology to experimental cancer treatments.

Biontech is testing anti-melanoma mRNA with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in a phase II trial.

Among the most advanced projects in Modana COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears Vaccines are mRNA compounds for the treatment of ovarian cancer or myocardial ischemia, which are also in the second trial stage.

However, none of the potential mRNA cancer treatments have reached significant, large-scale Phase III trials, and Calico acknowledges that cancer presents a greater challenge.

Viruses are foreign invaders, and although cancer cells are malignant, they originate from the body and can be attacked, making them difficult to find and expose.

“Cancer can be caused by duplication of genes and chromosomes, then everything about it looks normal, and the cells are just dividing more than necessary,” she said. For vaccines against infectious diseases, the traditional approach of the pharmaceutical industry has been to produce vaccines in large bioreactors. This is a time-consuming and costly process at a facility that can cost up to $ 700 million to build.

Lonza, a pharmaceutical company that participates in the production of 400 million Moderna vaccine ingredients annually on its US and Swiss sites, plans to begin production this year with production line costs of $ 60- $ 70 million, respectively. is.

“We produce mRNA in smaller and smaller facilities compared to traditional larger equipment and facilities,” Andre Goerke, global leader in Lonza’s Moderna project, told Reuters. .. “Starting up manufacturing is faster and more economical.”

“Ultra-fast response”

Raymond Schiffelers of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, who is leading the European Union program for mRNA treatment, said the main advantage of this technology is that vaccine developers can achieve “ultra-fast response”.

“You can start testing within a few weeks, which is a huge advantage over traditional vaccines,” he said.

The moment the pathogen’s genomic sequence is known, synthetic mRNAs that encode important parts of the virus can be designed. CoronavirusPotentially deadly spike protein.

The risks and challenges of mRNA remain.

Delivery can be difficult in countries with limited infrastructure, as some candidates need to be stored in very cold temperatures. Transportation can also be fragile, according to Schifflers.

For example, BioNTech vaccines need to be shipped at minus 70 degrees Celsius, but Moderna said on Monday that candidates could be shipped in regular refrigerators.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who funded Modena’s vaccine development, also said that mRNA vaccines mutate so quickly that they are unlikely to reach 90% efficacy. Said that it may not be a silver bullet for influenza.

But, COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears, Collins said mRNA is likely to be a revolution.

“It’s clearly months faster than any other method,” Collins said. “A few months are really important in a crisis moment.”

Disclaimer: This post is auto-published from the agency feed without modification of the text and has not been reviewed by the editor.

Breakthrough COVID Vaccine Technology May Help Defeat Other Diseases

Source link Breakthrough COVID Vaccine Technology May Help Defeat Other Diseases

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