Producing RNA to Address Global Challenges
GreenLight Biosciences is actively pursuing commercialization of RNA based solutions that address global needs. Our scientists are working together and with leading collaborators to discover new targets while our experienced team of commercial leaders builds the relationships and markets to translate technology to impact.
RNA for Agriculture
Agricultural pests affect every region on the globe. The estimated global crop loss to pest and disease is more than $100 billion annually. A lot of this loss is due to insects, weeds, viruses and fungi that either don’t have a current means of control or have developed resistance against traditional pesticides.
At the same time, over 95% of the pesticides sprayed never reach their target species. The vast majority of the chemicals sprayed or applied end up accumulating in our soil, water or food; affecting beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.
dsRNA can be utilized to efficiently and specifically target the pest of interest through a natural process known as RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi is a process found in most living organisms wherein it acts to transiently control a variety of functions. We can take advantage of this process to control pests through suppression of key genes in a temporary and reversible manner. By matching the sequence of the native RNA encoding an essential gene in the target pest, expression of that gene can be disrupted, effectively silencing it, resulting in death of the target pest. In addition to directly killing pests, RNA can be used to control other processes vital to pest proliferation and virulence. For example, RNAi can inhibit wing development in insects, or can block herbidical resistance development in weeds. RNA interference is highly specific, in that its effects are confined to the targeted pest. A treatment that blocks wing development in one insect pest could be made completely innocuous to other beneficial insects, such as bees.
GreenLight Biosciences has ongoing collaborations with leading agricultural companies to develop and bring to market integrated RNA solutions to significant crop pests. In addition, GreenLight Biosciences is developing proprietary targets for specialty crops. We are currently to initiate field testing some of these approaches.
RNA for Vaccines
mRNA Vaccines constitute one of the most promising avenues to address global pandemics. These vaccines combine desirable immunological properties with an outstanding safety profile, as well as limitless flexibility to target rapidly-mutating pathogens. Several large pharmaceutical companies, as well as nascent biotechnology startups, are developing mRNA vaccines, both for human and animal use. However, speed of development and efficient, scaled manufacturing remain enormous challenges in making mRNA vaccines a commercial reality.
The GreenLight Biosciences cell-free RNA platform is capable of producing high-quality, high-fidelity mRNA sequences suitable to be used in vaccine exploration. The unprecedented flexibility and scalability of our platform enables rapid development of new vaccines coupled with large-scale efficient manufacturing potential.