CureVac, a biopharmaceutical manufacturer specializing in mRNA-based drugs, has obtained a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office for its RNA manufacturing process.
The company said it was the first in its field to obtain a patent for the entire process of making in vitro transcribed RNA. The patent covers the processes of template DNA transcription in vitro, including the proprietary quality control steps for the production of purified RNA.
The company’s technology works by delivering antigen-encoding mRNA molecules to the body to induce both cellular and humoral immune responses.
“Our top priority has always been to create ultra-pure mRNA at the lowest cost of goods,” Ingmar Hoerr, co-founder and CEO of CureVac, said in a statement. âBased on our extensive know-how and intellectual property, we are currently building our industrial-scale production facility designed to produce up to 30 million doses of RNA-based therapies per year.
In February, CureVac received two new grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation previously gave the company a $ 52 million equity investment.
CureVac has been working on the development of a seasonal flu vaccine using its technology. Dubbed CV7302, the influenza vaccine is expected to be tested in humans this year. The Gates grant, however, is focused on a universal flu vaccine.
The Germany-based company is also considering a potential $ 1.8 billion deal with Eli Lilly to develop five mRNA cancer vaccines, and it is working with Boehringer Ingelheim in non-small cell lung cancer.