CEPI Partners With Gennova To Develop MRNA Vax Tech Against 'Disease X' - Eastern Mirror
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CEPI partners with Gennova to develop mRNA vax tech against ‘Disease X’

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By IANS Updated: Aug 08, 2023 10:48 pm
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) on Tuesday announced a new funding agreement with Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals to advance the development of their self-amplifying mRNA (saRNA) platform to develop vaccine candidates against unknown pathogenic threats, also referred to as ‘Disease X’.
CEPI partners with Gennova to develop mRNA vax tech against 'Disease X'

OSLO- The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) on Tuesday announced a new funding agreement with Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals to advance the development of their self-amplifying mRNA (saRNA) platform to develop vaccine candidates against unknown pathogenic threats, also referred to as ‘Disease X’.

According to CEPI, “the threat of Disease X infecting the human population, and spreading quickly around the world, is greater than ever before”.

To counter this, the CEPI will provide up to $3.6 million to support the optimisation of the saRNA-platform technology, the production process, and yield, it said in a statement.

A vaccine candidate will then be produced against rabies virus, part of the Rhabdoviridae family of viruses, for preclinical studies. Testing the vaccine candidate against this known virus, with accepted correlates of protection, will help to assess the concepts behind this new technology, CEPI said.

“Advances in RNA-vaccine technology were critical to the global response to Covid-19 and will be crucial for future epidemic and pandemic responses.

To make sure the world has access to such technology quickly and equitably the next time Disease X strikes, CEPI is supporting novel RNA vaccine technologies,” said Dr Melanie Saville, Executive Director of Vaccine R&D, in a statement.

In the case of saRNA vaccines, genetic information from a particular group of viruses is incorporated into the saRNA together with the antigen of interest. The genetic information from the virus programmes the host cell to generate multiple copies of the saRNA, hence the term self-amplification.

Unique to the saRNA technology being developed by Gennova is the CLNE delivery system. Rather than encapsulating the fragile mRNA molecules in a fatty shell (ie, lipid nanoparticles), as is the case for many mRNA vaccines, the CLNE system attaches the RNA molecules to the surface of fatty molecules (that is, a nanoemulsion).

This approach makes the manufacturing of potential vaccine candidates readily scalable and easily transferable between manufacturers, if needed.

Notably, Gennova had developed two of its mRNA-based vaccines for Covid-19, which got emergency use approval in India, validating the platform technology.

“We are very pleased to be entering into a funding agreement with CEPI. On a bigger canvas, we look forward to working together with CEPI to further improve the saRNA-technology platform aiding in vaccine democratisation and equitable access,” said Dr Sanjay Singh, Chief Executive Officer, in the statement.

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By IANS Updated: Aug 08, 2023 10:48:34 pm
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