Exploring the future of mRNA therapy: Where are we now? 

Small interfering RNA bound to a messenger RNA. [Image courtesy of Adobe Stock]

Interest in mRNA therapy has exploded in recent years following the development of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, but can the platform live up to the initial hype that surrounded it? More companies have announced clinical trial data from mRNA trials for conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.

mRNA, or messenger RNA, is a type of genetic material involved in protein synthesis. The therapeutic use of mRNA has an array of applications, but a handful of factors are dampening enthusiasm in the platform, including the warning immunity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, mRNA-based flu vaccine candidates have yet to prove their superiority over traditional vaccines in the clinic.

In addition, mRNA therapies are currently more expensive to manufacture than traditional small-molecule drugs. They…

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