01 June 2023: A novel intracellular drug delivery centre is set to be established in the United Kingdom with the aim of providing extensive support for the advancement of ribonucleic acid (RNA) vaccines and therapeutics, as well as facilitating the progress of innovative drug delivery technologies.

The UK intracellular drug delivery centre will be created through a partnership between Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a technology innovation centre based in the UK, and esteemed institutions including Medicines Discovery Catapult, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Liverpool, and Imperial College London.

The newly established centre will receive a £10 million grant over a span of three years from Innovate UK, the national innovation agency. This funding falls under the Transforming Medicines Manufacturing program initiated by the agency.

The centre will prioritise the exploration and advancement of lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations for RNA medicine delivery. Additionally, a significant area of focus will be the development of a framework for the development of cutting-edge nano-delivery systems.

The establishment of the centre aims to unlock the possibilities of RNA-based medications by aiding researchers and developers in comprehending the effectiveness, durability, and functionality of RNA vaccines and therapies. Additionally, it will assist in forecasting any potential adverse effects associated with these medications. This development has the potential to bring advantages to patients and the healthcare system, offering greater accessibility to advanced and affordable drugs.

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences head professor Yvonne Perrie said in the university’s official press release, “This centre will provide new capabilities for mRNA-based drug development and manufacture of cost-effective vaccines and therapeutics in the UK, boosting not only economic growth but also security of supply.”

The collaboration emphasised the significance of innovation in advancing the progress of novel therapies based on nucleic acids. It stressed the importance of comprehending how these therapies function within the body and optimising manufacturing procedures. The newly established centre will provide a platform to address these hurdles and seek effective solutions. Additionally, the partners emphasised the necessity for affordable alternative delivery methods to promote the global adoption of nucleic-acid-based medicines.