Evonik collaborating with Stanford University on ‘next generation’ of mRNA-based medicine

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Shivendu Jauhari
© GettyImages/Shivendu Jauhari

Related tags: mRNA, Cancer, Nanoparticles, Gene editing

Evonik says it is working with Stanford University, California on a technology to deliver mRNA to tissues and organs that goes beyond the capabilities of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs).

The two entities are looking to expand the potential applications of mRNA therapeutics to tackle a range of diseases.

The delivery of mRNA effectively and safely into the cell is one of the biggest challenges for expanding the use of mRNA therapeutics to promising fields such as cancer immunotherapy, protein replacement and gene editing.

The German company said a polymer-based delivery system was developed at the US university and complements its own technology platform for mRNA delivery. Known as Charge Altering Releasable Transporters (CART), the system was developed by Professor Robert Waymouth, Professor Paul Wender and Professor Ronald Levy.

Starting this month, Evonik and Stanford scientists will begin a three-year sponsored research collaboration to develop CART, which Evonik will license and commercialize.

“Through this project we look forward to enabling the next generation of mRNA-based medicine,”​ said Dr Thomas Riermeier, head of Evonik’s Healthcare business line.

Evonik said its team will work together with Stanford University scientists to scale up the synthesis and formulation, and further develop its innovative technology for organ selective delivery based on a non-animal-derived, synthetic degradable polymer.

Evonik said it is aiming to make this technology GMP quality and available for use in clinical-stage developments and, ultimately, on a commercial scale.

The move is intended to expand Evonik’s portfolio as a system solutions partner for advanced drug delivery.

Evonik said it recognized the potential of gene-based therapeutic approaches early on, making a targeted investment in this space with the acquisition of Transferra Nanosciences in 2016, a Vancouver-based lab with a strong focus on parenteral drug formulation development using lipid nanoparticles and liposomes.

Related topics: Pipelines, Bio Developments

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