Self-Amplifying Messenger RNA Transforms Common Flu Shots

sa-mRNA technology surpasses traditional mRNA vaccine development capabilities
(Precision Vaccinations News)

A global leader in influenza prevention recently announced a significant investment in a new Research and Development (R&D) facility located in Waltham, Mass. 

Seqirus, a business of CSL Limited, confirmed on February 7, 2022, the new facility will support the company’s growing R&D portfolio, focusing on a self-amplifying messenger RNA (sa-mRNA) technology platform, the next generation of mRNA technology. 

This innovative facility will serve as the company’s central R&D hub for current and future vaccine design, and collaborations with stakeholders from the industry and academia.

All ongoing R&D programs currently taking place in the Cambridge, Mass. facility will transition to the Waltham facility in the coming months. 

Ethan Settembre, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, informed Precision Vaccinations on February 9, 2022, “Based on the pre-clinical data we’ve seen so far, sa-mRNA technology could enable us to develop vaccines with a smaller dose compared to traditional mRNA, allowing us to create a greater amount of potentially more effective vaccines at a faster rate than ever before."

“We’re excited about the future of sa-mRNA technology and will continue to invest in our existing and new technologies to provide effective protection against influenza.”

sa-mRNA technology is an important element in Seqirus’ R&D current pipeline. In addition, Seqirus currently offers a broad portfolio of influenza vaccines to meet the needs of different populations in more than 20 countries around globally.

As an example, Flucelvax®Quadrivalent is available in the U.S. market. This innovative cell culture-based flu vaccine protects against four flu virus strains recommended by the World Health Organization. And the U.S. FDA recently Approved Flucelvax for an expanded age indication for children as young as six months old.

Roberta Duncan, Vice President, mRNA Program Lead, added, “As our R&D programs continue to expand, we’re working hard to ensure our facilities can support the growing team.”

“With 140,000 total square feet, the new Waltham facility will support the company’s exponential growth and drive the advancement of our portfolio, with a focus on sa-mRNA technology.”

The custom-built facility includes 54,000 square feet of lab space, with the ability to house about 300 full-time employees. The new site is expected to be fully operational by mid-2022.

The key to realizing the full potential of sa-mRNA developed vaccines is the efficient delivery of nucleic acid to the cytoplasm of a cell, where it can amplify and express the encoded antigenic protein.

Additionally, sa-RNA replication mediates innate immune signals that contribute to the strength of immune responses.   

The U.S. CDC recommends that most people above the age of six months get vaccinated annually before flu season arrives. 

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the flu viruses used to make vaccines that year.

In addition, the CDC suggests speaking with a travel vaccine provider if you are visiting a country in a different hemisphere, as flu season may have already started in your destination.

As one of the largest influenza vaccine providers, Seqirus USA Inc. is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness. 

Since launching in 1916, CSL has become a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. 

PrecisionVaccinations publishes fact-check, research-based antibody, antiviral, and vaccine news.



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