Arcturus Therapeutics, a biotechnology company in San Diego, California, may have just developed a model for how to make vaccines for the next pandemic. The new vaccine, which uses the self-replicating miRNA agent, appears to work well against current strains of Covid. It’s just that the product came too late to be relevant in light of the current pandemic.
But data from a large clinical trial suggest that the technology for the next trial needs to be investigated – and it could have many other uses as well.
A study of more than 16,000 people found that the “self-amplifying” miRNA vaccine manufactured by the “Arcturus” company provides 95 percent protection against serious diseases and death and 55 percent is effective in relieving symptoms of “Covid “to prevent. The latter result may seem low, but it is quite comparable to the current efficacy of doses of Pfizer and Moderna.
Arcturus’ stock initially dropped by 20 percent when it released its data, because with the exception of a new trial with pending data on the value of the vaccine as a booster against Covid-19, the drug will not have close success in the US does not achieve vaccine market.
But Arcturus was smart about improving next-generation technology that promises vaccines that are faster to make and distribute than current miRNA doses.
Like the “Mirna” vaccines from the “Moderna” and “Pfizer” companies, the dose of “Sarna” produced by the “Arcturus” company carries the genetic code for the Corona virus pick protein, which works to kill human deceive cells to make it so that the immune system can learn how to ward off the virus. But Sarna also contains a code for the virus’ replication machinery, which are the enzymes that can make copies of that code. This means that while the cell produces the Spica protein, it feeds copies of the recipe to make more of it.
The quality of self-reinforcement (some companies call it “self-replication”) offers some important benefits. Dose of sarna vaccines may be much smaller than that required for miRNA. The doses “Mirna” of “Moderna” and “Pfizer” are 100 and 30 micrograms, respectively, while the doses of “Arcturas” do not exceed 5 micrograms. In an emergency, such as a future coronavirus or flu, much smaller doses can mean more to vaccinate more people quickly and at a reasonably lower cost.
Arcturus’ technology also makes it possible to freeze-dry the vaccine, so it will be easier to ship around the world than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, which currently have to be stored below freezing temperatures.
This is currently only a theory, as efficacy data from the Arcturus study in Vietnam extend only two months after vaccination. This is not enough time to monitor the response of the memory cells to the vaccine. Arcturus says the continuous booster test should give a better idea of how long the protection lasts. This vaccine also has its drawbacks. The miRNA strands required to encode both the protein and the transcription machinery are approximately three times longer than those in the Moderna vaccine. Combining 15,000 bases correctly and then compressing that big ball of genetic strands into lipid nanoparticles is no easy feat.
But Arcturus’ results prove that it is possible. Industry officials described the Sarna vaccines developed to counter “Covid” as a bit rough and ready, as none of those who tested the technology in the epidemic had previously focused on self-amplification techniques. Arcturus’ expertise, for example, was to package different types of RNA into lipid nanoparticles. Although transportation and delivery are critical to its success, the ability of biotechnology to scale its vaccine suggests that it may not be as frightening as many thought.
The Arcturus data also suggest that the technology could be expanded against many other viruses, according to Robin Shattuck, head of mucosal infection and immunity at Imperial College London. Because they can use lower doses, the company can offer a better way to combine vaccines against different viruses in a single dose.
Even more exciting is the prospect that miRNA will one day be used as a drug.
A decade ago, when Moderna was developed as a miRNA biotechnology, it sold the promise of a cure by offering miRNA as a treatment, not a vaccine. The aim was to use miRNA to turn human cells into drug factories capable of producing missing or usable proteins. Vaccines do this for a day or two, which is long enough to suspend a viral protein before the immune system. But miRNA treatments should last longer and produce more protein.
It may be easier to manufacture a strong, long-lasting remedy with Sarna than with traditional miRNA technology. In recent years, several biotechnology companies, including Strand Therapeutics and Replicit Bioscience, have attracted significant investments from venture capital firms and pharmaceutical companies to power Sarna-based medicines. Big pharma technology seems to be evaluating as well. Imperial College’s Shattuck division has founded VaxAquiity, a biotechnology company working with AstraZeneca on Sarna therapies and a wide range of ailments.
No data on SARNA treatments are expected for the next year, or possibly longer. Of course, Sarna should not be the only technology preparing for a future pandemic, but it is reassuring to see what a powerful option it is and see how the money flows in to its ability to fight the diseases we face every day. harass, to give a boost.
* In agreement with Bloomberg