mRNA: Unparalleled Potential as a Drug

Published on: 

Chris Spivey, editorial director for BioPharm International, discusses mRNA advances and the background for the leading scientific conference for the field, with host and co-organizer CureVac CEO Dr. Alexander Zehnder.


Chris Spivey, editorial director for BioPharm International®, discussed messenger RNA (mRNA) advances and the background for the leading scientific conference for the field with host and co-organizer, CureVac CEO, Dr. Alexander Zehnder. Alexander joined CureVac as CEO in April 2023. He has held roles of increasing complexity and responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years, across multiple business units and functional areas in Europe, the United States, and Japan.

Convinced that mRNA has unparalleled potential as a drug, CureVac has embarked on an exciting mission The CureVac method was developed from the cumulation of many years of work, research, and nucleotide analysis—all in the name of overcoming the instability of mRNA molecules. The company analyzed millions of naturally occurring sequences to develop insights into the endogenous RNA language. These findings enabled development of an extensive in-house nucleotide sequence library that allows assembling the various pieces of the mRNA puzzle for the desired therapeutic use without having to rely on additional chemical modifications in the RNA.

Each CureVac product can be thought of as a tailored molecular creation in which we customize the 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions and the open reading frame to ensure translation of the mRNA sequence produces the ideal levels of protein creation in the body. All the different parts of a CureVac-customized mRNA molecule create a packaged product specially optimized for different indications.

The International mRNA Health Conference took place in Berlin (and virtually) from October 31 to November 2, 2023. The event set the stage for academic mRNA experts, and those from industry, to discuss the rapidly advancing science and business of mRNA medicines.

The mRNA Health Conference provides participants with a platform for networking with experts, giving them an opportunity to learn more about developments in mRNA technology and to see scientific presentations by some of the most esteemed experts in the field. The event brings together over 900 attendees from leading pharma and biotech companies as well as academic institutions onsite in Berlin and virtual.