The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) received a grant of £10.65 million to assist its work in the research, scale-up, and manufacture of RNA therapeutics as well as to finance the training centre already set up at the location, which intends to upskill the future RNA workforce.
The only UK facility equipped to design and produce self-amplifying and messenger RNA vaccines in millions of doses is the RNA Centre of Excellence. The Darlington-based centre, which was completed in 2021, will now gain from the financial boost.
According to Nusrat Ghani, Minister of Science and Investment Security, they are now dedicated to making sure they are fully prepared for future medical catastrophes and staying at the forefront of the research of novel cures. This is why they are investing so much in CPI’s Darlington RNA lab, which has the potential to lead to major domestic advances in the battle against disease.
The rapid development of vaccines made possible by RNA technology offers potential treatments for conditions including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, this might lead to easier access to individualised medicine.
The 19 vaccinations have contributed to the disease’s prevention on a global scale and are a good representation of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based technology, which has seen significant demand since the epidemic. In 2028, it is expected that the market for RNA-based medicines and vaccines will be worth $2.48 billion globally. The industry’s ability to realise this forecast depends on researchers at the RNA Training Academy upgrading their skills.
The academy’s courses equip students with practical knowledge for the workplace, including RNA development and manufacturing and RNA and lipid packaging. Teams can take face-to-face courses at the training facility.
Students at the RNA Training Academy who are studying scale-up and manufacturing are assisted by an impartial advisory group. Imperial College London’s Professor Robin Shattock, Dr. Lucy Foley, CTO of eXmoor Pharma, Professor Dan Bracewell of UCL, and Dr. Jonathan Haigh of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies make up the committee’s RNA experts.
According to CPI CEO Frank Millar, Teesside, where the centre is located, has a long history in the field of biomanufacturing. The structure is expected to draw additional life sciences investors and establish the UK as a global leader in RNA medicines.