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The BioIndustry Association reports that with a strong foundation in research and development in mRNA the United Kingdom will be a major player in this rapidly growing industry.
On Oct 4, 2023, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) released a new report detailing how the United Kingdom is positioned to become a global leader in messenger RNA (mRNA) medicine. To see the importance of mRNA technology, one only has to look to the recent Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly awarded to Dr. Karikó and Dr. Weissman. The award was given for their nucleoside base modification discoveries that paved the way for modern mRNA development, including the development of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Titled mRNA Revolution: A New Generation of Medicine, the BIA report highlights the UK’s strong foundation in research and development of mRNA, as well as several UK-based companies that are developing mRNA products. These companies include SiSaf, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as international companies such as Moderna and CPI. While Moderna and CPI are not based in the UK, they both have large UK facilities, at which they have conducted important mRNA studies.
Key organizations in the UK mRNA market include organizations providing research funding, such as The Wellcome Trust, The Medical Research Council, and Innovate UK, as well as organizations with strong research bases, such as The University of Oxford and Imperial College London. In 2020, the UK government allotted £200 million of funding for mRNA research and development, which is being used by a range of projects. Development of new mRNA vaccines, mRNA-based cancer treatments, and new delivery methods for mRNA make up some of the development projects that are being bolstered by this funding.
The article’s release falls close to the first RNA Vaccines and Therapeutics Conference held at the Royal Academy of Engineering on October 4–5, 2023. The conference, sponsored by CPI and Imperial College London, focused on the evolving science of encoding RNA medicines, and the entire pharmaceutical cycle of next-generation RNA vaccines and therapies.