Self-amplifying may be the next frontier in RNA therapies
Self-amplifying RNA brings a differentiated immune profile, enables lower doses
Self-amplifying RNA evokes robust CD8+ T cell immunity, a boon for cancer and intracellular pathogens, and enables lower dosing that could improve tolerability and manufacturing efficiency.
With the success of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 solidifying the technology as a vaccine modality that’s here to stay, the conversation has turned to where mRNA will make its mark next and what’s needed in a second generation of the technology.
Self-amplifying RNA is increasingly on companies’ radars as a path to vaccines for both infectious diseases and cancer given their ability to evoke strong cytotoxic T cell responses and enable lower, longer-lasting doses than “conventional” mRNA.
When SARS-CoV-2 emerged, some companies immediately began developing both types of mRNA vaccines, but then opted to prioritize the conventional format. This may have been viewed as the fastest path to the finish line because antibody responses to vaccines are easier and faster to measure than T cell responses, and one of the primary