News about mRNA vaccines from BioNTech and Moderna indicates that the same technology may help eliminate many other intractable diseases, including cancer. That kills millions.
And in a report published by the American site “Bloomberg”, Andreas Kloth explained that the most promising vaccines for the Corona virus use “messenger RNA” (MRNA) technology. One is manufactured by the German company “Biontech” in partnership with its American counterpart “Pfizer”, and the other is from the American company “Moderna”, while the German company “CureVac” vaccine is still under development.
Vaccines are usually made of inactivated or weakened viruses, whose injection into the body stimulates an immune response that will protect it from live pathogens later But the process of developing this type of vaccine requires many chemicals and cell cultures, which take time to produce, and the possibility of contamination increases.
In contrast, making RNA vaccines does not involve such problems, as these doses guide the body to make antibodies on its own, and then the immune system preserves these antigens, and prepares for the day when the proteins associated with the Corona virus will appear. Accordingly, hopes are placed on RNA to cure other diseases, as it can direct our cells to make any protein we want, and this includes the antigens of many other diseases besides the Corona virus.
In its day-to-day job, messenger RNA (messenger RNA) takes instructions from the DNA in the cell nucleus, where extensions of the genome are copied, then the mRNA carries it to the cytoplasm, where small cellular factories called “ribosomes” use the information to produce proteins.
Biontech and Moderna cut this process short by skipping the processes in the kernel. Instead, it determined what type of protein to produce, and then looked at the amino acid sequence that makes up that protein. From this, the exact instructions that the mRNA should give are derived.
This process can be relatively fast, and for this it took a record period of less than one year to manufacture Corona vaccines, and it is also genetically safe, so the messenger RNA cannot return to the nucleus and accidentally introduce genes into our DNA.
The author stated that researchers since the seventies have decided to use this technology to fight all kinds of diseases. But huge sums and a lot of time and effort were required. After a decade of academic enthusiasm, messenger RNA lost its popularity in the 1990s, when a major obstacle emerged was that injecting mRNA into animals often caused deadly inflammation.
Then came Catalin Carrico, a Hungarian scientist who immigrated to the United States in the 1980s and endured the many hardships of devoting her entire career to mRNA research and a very important milestone. In the first decade of the 21st century, she and her research partner realized that replacing uridine, one of the “letters” of messenger RNA, prevented infections without compromising the code, and so the injected mice survived.
A scientist from Stanford University named Derek Rossi, who later co-founded Moderna, examined it and showed it to two oncologists, the spouses Ugur Shaheen and Ozil Tureshi, who co-founded Biontech. The couple licensed and utilized Carico’s technology, as their primary goal was to cure cancer from the start.
Shaheen and Torichi realize that the best way to fight cancer is to treat each tumor as being genetically unique, and to train individuals’ immune systems against specific attacks. This is an ideal function for messenger RNA.
The author concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic was the reason for proving the status of messenger RNA, and finally contributing to its adequate investment, interest and activity in the field of medical research.