Northern Center of Excellence to Help Protect the World Against Future Pandemics Through Vaccine Technology Yorkshire News

The center will specialize in the technology used to create the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines.

Those behind the center, in northeast England, said they will work with government and industry to help protect the world against future pandemics and infectious diseases.

The new facility will expand capacity at an existing site in Darlington and is expected to be ready in November, with courses to train and increase the skills of technicians and scientists available starting in January.

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Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA (messenger RNA) that carries instructions that tell the body to produce a specific tool that can be used to fight disease.

In addition to the coronavirus, such technology can be used in the treatment of HIV, cancer and heart disease, the scientists involved in the new center said.

Dr. Lucy Foley, director of Biologics at CPI, the technology innovation organization behind the new facility, described the use of RNA as a “much more orderly way” to make a treatment or a vaccine, calling it a ” true game changer. “

She said: “I think the industry is really shedding light on RNA and these chemically synthesized products now, saying ‘these are much, much faster to manufacture, if we can reduce the cost of the products, this is a much more promising way. ”. to treat diseases in the future ‘”.

Compared to conventional vaccines, which are produced using weakened forms of the virus, mRNAs use only the genetic code of the virus.

Due to the fact that a real virus is not needed to create an mRNA vaccine, the rate at which doses can be produced is accelerated.

CPI said it is the only UK-based company capable of developing, manufacturing and encapsulating RNA vaccines ready for use in clinical trials in one location.

They said their facilities in the northeast are being built in such a way as to rapidly increase their size to deal with emerging pandemics or infectious disease threats, if necessary.

Dr Foley added: “Having established itself as a revolutionary technology during the Covid-19 pandemic, we must be prepared with the skills and facilities to support this emerging RNA industry.

“Both the RNA Center of Excellence and the training academy will support the development of new licensed RNA products for the treatment of many different diseases.

“This is fantastic news for the biopharmaceutical industry and for human health.”

The new national training academy will be run in partnership between CPI and the National Horizons Center (NHC), the research, teaching and training center that is part of the University of Teesside, and will offer courses on the development and manufacture of RNA. .

NHC Director Dr. Jen Vanderhoven said: “With research, partnerships and training at our core, NHC brings together world-class industry, academia, talent and facilities to create an impact on the real world.

“The global pandemic has demonstrated the critical role our industry plays, and it is important that we are agile and responsive to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in life sciences.

“We are delighted to partner on this world-leading collaboration, deepening our strategic partnership with CPI, to ensure that the UK bioindustry has the skilled workforce it needs in the future.”

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This notice was published: 2021-08-31 14:31:41

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