Standard methods of preparing mRNA require multiple purification steps, sometimes-costly single-use resins, and various chemicals. At the commercial scale, such methodology is impractical; at the vaccine scale (hundreds of millions of doses per annum), it is impossible.
The concept of mRNA therapy has gone from concept to realistic prospect with remarkable speed, but not everyone was taken by surprise. Scott Zobbi (Senior Business Development Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific) first saw a significant increase in research into RNA therapeutics several years ago, particularly with regard to using mRNA as an alternative to recombinant proteins. But the really exciting development, according to Zobbi, is the application of mRNA to vaccination – not only in cancer immunotherapy, but also for infectious diseases.