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Development of messenger RNA-based vaccines for the treatment of diseases

Discover the effective immunizing model that is being applied on a large scale to control SARS-CoV-2 infection.

After years of research, messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines have achieved visibility and prominence around the world. This year in particular, due to the pandemic situation caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), this vaccine modality obtained formal approval for use in humans by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), heralding a new era in the development of vaccines, which demonstrate, in general, an innovative strategy with a safety and efficacy profile.

mRNA-based vaccines use selected genetic information from the virus, in the form of RNA, which contains instructions for the body's cells to produce certain substances. When mRNA is inserted into the body, cells use the genetic information to produce the protein of interest, which will then be presented to immune cells. T or B lymphocytes (antibody-producing) cells begin to identify this protein and recognize it as a target. This immunity triggered by the vaccine through the production of antibodies and lymphocytes, gives the body the ability to prepare itself before coming into contact with the virus, preventing infection. In summary, when taking the vaccine, the body produces antibodies against the protein of interest, which is part of the virus, and thus, when infected, the body is able to recognize and eliminate the virus before the infection occurs.

In addition to fighting infectious diseases, mRNA vaccines are also emerging as an alternative to the treatment of different types of cancer, in the form of therapeutic vaccines. This innovative type of vaccine stands out for its efficacy, safety and agility in manufacturing, and can be produced synthetically and on a large scale, and for this reason, it has aroused great interest in the pharmaceutical sector. Currently, many industries have invested in research and clinical trials in the development of mRNA vaccines, mainly in the field of oncology. ImunoTera is one of these companies, and has, within its platform, a research based at the development of mRNA vaccines for the treatment of tumors induced by HPV. The platform has three models of therapeutic vaccines based on mRNA that instruct the production of the TERAH-7 protein, a technology developed by the company that enables the body to recognize the cancer target and treat precancerous lesions and cancer related to the human papillomavirus - HPV.

“Thanks to the different possibilities for applying our technology, we believe that this is just the beginning of a great technological revolution for the production of therapeutic vaccines. When validated in humans and its mechanism of action and immunological effect are proven, this antitumor strategy will provide a better quality of life for patients suffering from HPV-induced cervical cancer and neoplasms.” - Bruna Porchia, CSO at ImunoTera.


2- Pardi, N., Hogan, M., Porter, F. et al. mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology. Nat Rev Drug Discov 17, 261–279 (2018).

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