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Nucleic acid medicines manufacture receives £4.5m in funding

Five projects will receive funding to develop and commercialise innovative solutions for the manufacturing of nucleic acid medicines.

Innovate UK has announcedbthe winners of a funding competition to create and bring to market inventive approaches while enhancing the resource effectiveness, output and expandability for producing nucleic acid medications.

Addressing the global challenge

Nucleic acid medicines have been showing some promise over recent years, from rare diseases to vaccines. However, there are unique manufacturing challenges that need to be solved if they are to be scaled and delivered to large numbers of patients.

This presents an opportunity for the UK to take a leading position in driving these technologies and innovations forward.

Catalyse manufacturing abilities of nucleic acid medicines

This investment from Innovate UK aims to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies to improve the resource efficiency, productivity and ability to manufacture nucleic acid medicine. This would allow for growth at scale including, but not limited to, emerging products targeting large patient populations.

Innovative solutions from these projects will focus on manufacturing platforms to enhance cancer therapies and expedite the transition of gene therapies into clinical settings.

Additionally, they seek to improve access to life-saving vaccines in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and facilitate the production of advanced therapies for genetic diseases and cancer.

Revolutionising medicine manufacturing technologies

Sarah Goulding, Director, Medicines Manufacturing at Innovate UK, said:

These investments will catalyse innovation in nucleic acids manufacturing approaches, enabling industry collaboration within the UK’s medicines manufacturing sector. By driving efficiency and improving productivity, we aim to increase the potential of these emerging medicines.

Innovative future of medicines manufacturing

Dr Stella Peace, Executive Director for Healthy Living and Agriculture Domain at Innovate UK, said:

Our commitment to funding innovation in medicines manufacturing aims to ensure safe, effective medicines reach patients globally, when needed, and at accessible costs. By inspiring and unlocking innovations, we drive business growth for the UK and make life better for all.

Further information

Successful projects

Enabling gene therapy through the manufacture of a novel circular single-stranded CRISPR editing template

Project lead: Touchlight Genetics Ltd

Scaling and characterising MegaBulb, a revolutionary, enzymatic, highly-efficient DNA template for gene editing, to enable production of advanced therapies for genetic disease and cancer.

Bringing lipid nanoparticle-based mRNA vaccines in from the cold

Project lead: NanoVation Therapeutics

VaxStable will create potent and stable mRNA vaccines at ambient temperature, circumventing ultra-cold distribution chains and improving access to life saving vaccines in LMICs.

Elevated temperature mediated OLigo synthesis using LIgase and resin technology (OLLIE)

Project lead: Almac Sciences Ltd

This project aims to develop and combine innovative technologies to produce novel oligonucleotide therapeutics, focusing on reducing their environmental impact and improving current manufacturing processes.

Utilising dbDNA for enhanced Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) manufacture, performance and cost: enabling the next generation of UK-based advanced therapies innovators

Project lead: Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The project will develop a doggybone DNA-based rAAV9 manufacturing platform to improve productivity, quality and reduce production costs and timelines, thereby accelerating rAAV therapies into clinics.

Accelerating the manufacture of RNA therapies

Project lead: BiologIC Technologies Ltd

This project applies BiologIC’s pioneering and flexible RNA manufacturing platform to accelerate Epitopea’s mission to deliver better cancer therapies to transform people’s lives.

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