Implementing the future of mRNA therapeutics

Here, Chief Scientist Bruce Lahn of the CDMO VectorBuilder discusses best practices, common problems, and possible solutions to mitigate risk and free up capacity when developing and designing mRNA therapeutics.

The next generation of therapeutics has arrived: from simple design and development to theoretically unlimited targets, messenger RNA (mRNA)‑based therapeutics offer a multitude of benefits. However, creating these innovative treatments harbours challenges. This article explores common developmental and design issues and how to mitigate difficulties before they occur.

There has been intense global excitement surrounding mRNA-based therapies. The unprecedented success of the COVID-19 vaccine effort,1 mediated in part by mRNA-based technology, demonstrated that mRNA modalities have immense therapeutic potential. Due to their relatively simple design and processing logistics, these therapies are an attractive alternative to other, more complex, and potentially risky, drug development strategies. Despite mRNA design and development being relatively simple, it does not mean the process is easy.