Posts tagged:

coronavirus

Unherd: Should Big Pharma be destroyed?

GreenLight Biosciences is featured in Unherd magazine on the need for smaller, more innovative companies to help roll out Covid vaccines to the rest of the world.

Credit: Unherd/Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty

Andrey Zarur, the CEO of the biotech firm GreenLight, who are producing their own mRNA vaccine for Covid at the moment, comes at the whole thing from a different angle“Pfizer was not designed to make low-cost therapeutics available to every corner of the world,” he says: it’s a 150-year-old company with settled investors and a particular way of working.

He compares it to Apple. “You have a $1,000 iPhone 13,” he says. “Who’s that designed for? My children. Idiot teenagers with rich parents.” Poorer countries need smartphones too, but the solution is not to force Apple to sell smartphones to Ethiopia at a discount. “What you need is an innovative company with different processes.” Instead of demanding changes from 150-year-old companies that are very good at the specific things they do, create smaller, newer companies which do the thing you want. “There’s six billion people in the developing world,” says Zarur. “You should be able to figure out a way to turn a reasonable profit with reasonably priced drugs.”

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA.

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Business Insider: COVID-19 vaccines sparks expansion of RNA research

Business Insider reports on GreenLight Bioscience’s plans to expand its RNA research work, including to include human therapeutics. An extract from the article is below:

For instance, GreenLight Biosciences expanded its mRNA work last year from focusing on pesticide alternatives to include human therapeutics. Now, GreenLight is riding the mRNA hype to a public debut, agreeing to a $1.2 billion special-purpose acquisition company deal in August.

“GreenLight aims to solve some of the world’s biggest problems with RNA, from affordable vaccines and therapies to protecting honeybees,” GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur said in a statement, adding that clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine were scheduled to begin next year.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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Unherd: Why third jabs are inevitable

Amin Khan, Head of Vaccines at GreenLight Biosciences, speaks to Unherd a wider piece about why third jabs are inevitable.

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Credit: Unherd/Amarjeet Kumar

Amin Khan, Head of Vaccines at GreenLight Biosciences, speaks to Unherd about the ability to rapidly rollout new mRNA vaccines in a wider piece about why third jabs are inevitable. Extracts below:

Amin Khan, head of vaccines at the biotech firm GreenLight, says that you can get a new variant-specific mRNA vaccine ready to go in a few weeks. And if the new version simply targets a slightly modified version of the spike protein, as the existing vaccines do, it won’t need much in the way of testing and regulatory approval. Changing your manufacturing system is more complicated, “but within two or three months, you can get a new variant to the market”.

Playing whack-a-mole with new variants isn’t a long-term solution, though. The hope is that “third-generation” vaccines will be capable of covering all the existing variants and most foreseeable future ones. But, says Khan, that’s a bit more complicated. A more complete version might target other parts of the virus than the spike protein; that would mean a much more rigorous testing and approval regime, and it may take months longer to get such a vaccine to market.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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GenEdge: GreenLight Strives for Global RNA Equity

Martha Ortega-Valle, co-founder of GreenLight Biosciences, is interviewed by GenEdge to discuss how RNA equity can help solve the problems of today and the future.

Martha Ortega-Valle, co-founder of GreenLight Biosciences, is interviewed by GenEdge to discuss how RNA equity can help solve the problems of today and the future. Extracts from the interview are below:

We were coming from a solution that could manufacture in a very integrated way mRNA for agriculture. We thought those learnings were going to play an important role to accelerate the RNA space. We decided to do it, not only the manufacturing challenge but the pipeline development….

We are seeing that manufacturing and having enough vaccine doses for everyone not only in the developed world—it’s becoming an issue. Even today in Europe, countries are struggling for vaccines and doses…

We have a unified way in the sense that we think RNA can solve very important problems in the agricultural space, the human health space, and even animal health…

The beauty of that is that you’ll always have one single way of producing that molecule — one platform, a million products. That’s giving you R&D acceleration and then moving them through regulatory and commercial scale…

In ten years, I’d like to have advanced therapies using the RNA platform that can cure or alleviate diseases that don’t have good solutions. We could think about sickle cell disease, HIV, and other important diseases…

We need to make sure to integrate the local people not only in terms of getting their vaccines but also empowers them to have biomanufacturing as part of their industrial endeavors. There are wonderful universities doing great work in those locations that now have access to generate clinical materials in a facility that is local. So, it’s bringing top technologies to those locations.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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The National: Africa needs to be self-reliant in vaccine production

Andrey Zarur, CEO of GreenLight Biosciences, writes an opinion piece for The National about how vaccine production needs to progress for the world to recover from the pandemic.

Andrey Zarur, CEO of GreenLight Biosciences, writes an opinion piece for The National about how vaccine production needs to progress, particularly in Africa, for the world to recover from the pandemic. Some extracts from the piece are below.

The pandemic will not end until everyone is vaccinated – and quickly. At the current pace, full vaccination will not occur until the end of 2022, but we must find a way to make enough vaccines, about 15 billion doses, before serious vaccine-resistant variants overtake us. That’s daunting, but it is possible to meet the challenge.

Some countries may share their vaccines with others, but to produce vaccines continually and efficiently, we need production sites distributed around the world. GreenLight’s novel RNA manufacturing process – quick to start, built for scale, and using small bioreactors – may be part of the solution. We are partnering with governments, multilateral institutions and companies on all continents to accelerate pandemic response.

Vaccines for Covid-19 cannot yet be manufactured in Africa. Local manufacturing – that is to say, a factory on the continent itself – would help meet the demand and increase the pace of vaccinations. The Covax initiative plans to send 600 million doses to Africa, enough for only about 20 per cent of its population; so far only 20 million have been delivered. Africa is, essentially, at the back of the line.

The last year has been a showcase for the power of science and of human ingenuity. To go from identifying a pandemic virus to getting a vaccine for that virus into millions of arms within a year is extraordinary, when the normal process takes a decade or more. But to fight this deadly virus and all its variants requires the agility and ingenuity to equip every country with the tools it needs to stay victorious.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.


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