5 June 2023: RNA vaccine developer VaxEquity, in partnership with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), has successfully obtained a £700k grant from Innovate UK, an innovation agency based in the UK. This substantial funding will support a joint initiative aimed at progressing the manufacturing methods for RNA vaccines and therapeutics.

VaxEquity has announced plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities for its self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) platform. The company intends to conduct tests to optimise scalability and aims to swiftly advance a potential influenza vaccine into clinical trials. The British biotech firm believes that its saRNA platform will overcome the limitations of conventional mRNA treatments, which necessitate higher doses due to their limited protein production capacity, as seen in Covid-19 vaccines.

VaxEquity’s saRNA functions in a distinct manner. It undergoes replication within the cell, resulting in the generation of numerous RNA copies and enhanced protein production. The company claims that this process diminishes the necessity for multiple doses, lowers manufacturing expense and reduces the potential toxicity associated with future RNA therapeutics.

Brendan Fish, Director of Biologics & RNA Centre of Excellence at the CPI said in an official press release, “We are delighted to be teaming up with RNA experts at VaxEquity to help ensure the promise of the post-pandemic push for global RNA vaccines is fulfilled. Through use of our RNA Centre of Excellence we will identify key factors in saRNA manufacturing to fine-tune and accelerate the process of saRNA transcription in batch processes, pioneering the path to the more efficient production of future saRNA vaccines.”

With their origins rooted in a partnership between Imperial College London and Morningside, and a subsequent collaboration with AstraZeneca, VaxEquity continues to solidify its position as a key player in the field of mRNA therapeutics. By expanding their manufacturing infrastructure, VaxEquity is poised to make even greater strides in addressing public health challenges and saving lives worldwide.