With science and technology advancing every day, new discoveries are also being made in the medicine world. Medical Scientists are working on new drugs that are more powerful and act faster in treating the same diseases. Diseases that were once incurable can now be prevented with a vaccine, and in case caught can be treated with a few tablets or injections.
One of these remarkable discoveries that scientists believe holds great potential are vaccines made from RNA. These drugs can be used to treat cancer and also for the prevention of many infectious diseases. Because of their promising results, biotech companies are conducting more research on such vaccines, and a few of them have even gone through clinical trials.
However, they are facing some issues. One of these issues is that they must make sure the RNA gets into the right immune cells, and once it gets there, it must also produce the right amount of encoded protein. Another challenge is that the vaccine must be strong enough to stimulate a reaction big enough that wipes out all the relevant microorganisms causing the disease.
Chemical Engineers from MIT have developed a series of lipid nano-particles that deliver such vaccines. In a study performed on mice, their newly developed RNA vaccine successfully managed to inhibit the growth of tumors. This study was performed on two different mice with melanoma, and in both cases, the growth of the tumor was slowed down, and the rate of survival increased.
An associate professor at MIT, Daniel Anderson, spoke about their study, saying that one of the discoveries of their study is that we can make RNA delivery lipids that can even be used to activate the immune system.
Traditional vaccines are made up of infectious microbes in weakened forms. The scientists then came up with the idea of making vaccines using DNA that can encode microbial proteins. However, the results of this study were not as promising as that of RNA..
Anderson, with his team, developed many lipid nanoparticles that protect and deliver RNA to its desired destination. Their aim is to develop carriers.
Do you think RNA will be successful in treating patients?
A biotechnology and sci fi nerd, that enjoys writing about new innovations within the science world and industry.