The COVID-19 pandemic placed unprecedented pressures on drug developers. An effective and safe vaccine typically takes over a decade to create and validate, but the global impact and spread of COVID-19 accelerated the production of the first vaccines, which were rolled out less than a year after the initial outbreak of the disease.
Ultimately, a new class of vaccines based on RNA technology were the first to be approved across much of the western world. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines represent a promising alternative to manufacturing conventional vaccines due to their flexibility and rapid production speed.
Discover more about mRNA vaccine production below.
mRNA Vaccine Platform
FAQs about mRNA Vaccines
What Are mRNA Vaccines?
mRNA vaccines are a promising modality of the vaccine industry. They are non-infectious, non-integrating, and cell-free, offering both rapid and readily scalable production with high productivity.
mRNA vaccines are a true platform: the same process can be used to produce mRNA vaccines against different indications. The appeal of the speed, flexibility, and safety profile of mRNA vaccines are undeniable. However, mRNA therapies are a new technology, the platform is evolving, and process parameters are rapidly changing.
How do mRNA Vaccines Work?
Conventional vaccines typically contain small amounts of inactivated virus or isolated viral proteins (antigens). When delivered into the body, they elicit an immune response. Since the immune system has now been exposed to the pathogen, it can respond much more quickly and effectively if it encounters the infectious agent in the future.
mRNA vaccines rely on similar principles, but instead of viral proteins, mRNAs containing the instructions to make viral antigens are delivered inside the body. This prompts the body’s cells to create the antigen, which similarly activates the immune system.
How Have mRNA Vaccines Served the Pandemic Response?
mRNA therapies have gained visibility during the COVID-19 crisis, as the technology brought vaccines to the market at an extraordinary speed.
mRNA vaccine platforms have the additional benefit of flexibility and can be quickly modified in response to virus evolution or outbreaks.
What is the Future Potential of mRNA Therapeutics?
COVID-19 vaccines are likely just the beginning of the mRNA revolution. mRNA vaccines also have the potential to protect against diseases such as HIV and Zika.
mRNA therapies could also hold promise in other clinical areas, including the treatment of cancer and rare genetic disorders.
Our vaccine experts Amélie Boulais and Piergiuseppe Nestola share their thoughts on the challenges and future directions of global vaccination programs.
What Is It Going to Take to End the Pandemic?
What Are the Barriers of Global Vaccination?
How Can the Industry Enhance Future Pandemic Preparedness?
Can Biopharma Adapt and Evolve to Move Faster With Other Modalities?
mRNA Vaccine Production
As new vaccine development platforms emerge, mRNA and plasmid DNA (pDNA) production processes will also evolve. We need innovative technologies that keep up with that rate of change.
June 28, 2021 | Article
Production & Purification of mRNAPDF | 440.8 KB
July 27, 2020 | White Paper