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vaccine production

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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Elemental: All about mRNA

Marta Ortega-Valle, founder of GreenLight Biosciences, talks to Elemental about mRNA and its potential to treat or prevent a whole range of conditions.

Marta Ortega-Valle, founder of GreenLight Biosciences, talks to Elemental about mRNA and its potential to treat or prevent a whole range of conditions in the future. Extracts from the article are below:

“In a way, we can produce medicines inside the body,” says Marta Ortega-Valle, founder of GreenLight, a biotech company that manufactures lab-produced RNA. “We could, instead of manufacturing proteins outside of patients, create them inside the body, using your own cells and the same system your body already has.”…

The vaccines may be the first publicly available pharmaceuticals to use mRNA, but they won’t be the last. Not by a long shot. GreenLight is currently working with the Gates Foundation to develop an mRNA-based treatment for sickle cell anemia. Research has been done into the potential for it to be used as an anti-aging therapy. The list of conditions and diseases that could theoretically be treated or prevented using mRNA vaccines and medicines is long…

Ortega-Valle and many in the science community believe the next frontier of medicine is based in mRNA. And now we’re expected to get there a lot faster. “I think that we’re experiencing an acceleration that was not in the plan,” she says. “My guess is that without the pandemic, a commercial vaccine based on mRNA would have taken many years, if it ever happened. Now we’ve done it, and it opens the door to more.”

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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