New $60m mRNA vaccines programme by Wellcome Trust and CEPI

New $60m mRNA vaccines programme by Wellcome Trust and CEPI

  • 19/07/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the incredible potential of mRNA technology before the eyes of the world. To further exploit the technology, and most importantly to prepare for future pandemics, a global network of ‘living’ biofoundries will be needed to provide increased access to diverse biologics and to set up multi-product, RNA-based manufacturing capabilities.

The new R3 (“RNA readiness and response”) programme cofounded by CEPI and the Wellcome Trust has two goals: one, to increase exponentially the number of mRNA-based biologic products that can be designed, developed, and produced every year, reducing their oftentimes enormous costs and increasing equitable access; and two, to create a self-sustaining network of manufacturing facilities providing globally distributed, state-of-the-art surge capacity to meet future pandemic needs.

R3 seeks to change the dynamics and costs of biologics development and production, addressing the limitations of current manufacturing by establishing RNA as a versatile, deployable, standardized, multi-product platform technology, that: 1) in non-emergency times provides developers and researchers with access to cGMP-formulated RNA for the development and production of a diversity of viable RNA-based products, and 2) in emergency times shifts to needed products at speeds & quantities sufficient to mount a globally coordinated, regionally focused response to a pandemic.

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