AstraZeneca Emulates BioNTech

AstraZeneca is now using the next generation of RNA technology. The British pharmaceutical company agrees a multi-million dollar cooperation with the startup VaxEquity – not just for vaccines. AstraZeneca is entering into a partnership with the British startup VaxEquity to develop new drugs based on RNA technology.

VaxEquity will receive a payment of up to 195 million dollars from AstraZeneca if certain milestones are reached in the course of the cooperation, the group said. In addition, there were license fees for the products, and an equity stake between AstraZeneca and the life science investor Morningside Ventures was also agreed. VaxEquity was founded last year by vaccine expert Robin Shattock of Imperial College London.

The collaboration with VaxEquity adds a promising new platform to AstraZeneca‘s drug discovery, says AstraZeneca research director Mene Pangalos. It is the first acquisition for AstraZeneca to gain experience with the new technology and benefit from it. AstraZeneca‘s corona vaccine is based on a conventional mode of action. The drug is a so-called vector vaccine based on adenoviruses from monkeys. Since the vaccine successes from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna, RNA technology has been considered particularly promising and is to be used in other medical areas in the future.

Self-amplifying RNA technology” As part of the agreement, AstraZeneca has the opportunity to work together on 26 drug target structures for use in therapeutic areas such as cancer and rare genetic diseases. The focus of the partnership is so-called self-amplifying RNA technology. It works in a similar way to that of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna. However, a self-amplifying RNA vaccine does not only contain the genetic code that allows cells to make targeted proteins. It also makes many copies of the RNA that contains these instructions, so the doses could be smaller and cheaper.

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AstraZeneca Emulates BioNTech - /10

Summary

AstraZeneca is now using the next generation of RNA technology. The British pharmaceutical company agrees a multi-million dollar cooperation with the startup VaxEquity - not just for vaccines. AstraZeneca is entering into a partnership with the British startup VaxEquity to develop new drugs based on RNA technology.

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