At a glance: mRNA as a Therapeutic Drug Class
- Natural molecule found universally within cells, with well-characterized properties.
- Suitable to encode for antibodies, antigens, cytokines and any other type of protein.
- Transient, with adaptable activity and half-life. Avoids genomic integration problems sometimes seen in gene therapy, potentially resulting in a better safety profile.
- Can be designed and optimized pharmacologically and immunologically, making it suitable for a broad range of applications.
- Fast manufacturability, making it an inexpensive and flexible therapeutic to produce.
Our mRNA Delivery Formulations
Our deep and broad expertise in the targeted delivery of mRNA therapeutics is a key strength of BioNTech
A mRNA drug needs to be appropriately formulated in order to be protected from degradation by extracellular RNAses. The right formulation is critical to ensure the appropriate delivery of the RNA to the intended site of action.
We employ multiple mRNA delivery formulations, each designed for different functions and optimized for therapeutic product needs based on the intended application and route of delivery:
- Lipoplex: Our lipoplex formulation, or LPX, embeds the mRNA between a lipid bilayer, which is used for our FixVac and iNeST platforms. We use a proprietary size- and charge-based non-viral mRNA lipoplex that was developed to deliver mRNA to dendritic cells in lymphoid compartments such as the spleen for optimal antigen presentation and immune response activation.
- Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs): For other applications, we encapsulate our mRNA in lipid nanoparticles, or LNPs. These formulations are suitable for our RiboMab, RiboCytokine and rare disease protein replacement platforms. Our LNP formulations can be adjusted according to our needs for delivery to particular target tissues, such as the liver in the case of our rare disease protein replacement platform.
- Polyplexes: Our portfolio also comprises polyplexes, which are being utilized in certain of our discovery programs, in which the mRNA is bound to a polymer and then forms nanoparticles.