Concept: China’s biotechnology company Recbio has developed the first lyophilized mRNA vaccine that offers long-term stability and strong immunogenicity against the COVID-19 virus. The company claims that the vaccine can be stored and transported in conventional cold chain conditions, greatly improving the accessibility of the mRNA vaccine.

Nature of Disruption: The lyophilized mRNA-LNP nanoparticle vaccine is delivered by a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system and achieves stability at 39.2 and 77-degree Fahrenheit based on self-developed lyophilization technology. The lyophilization process can improve the stability of lipid nanoparticles as well as increase the storage temperature of mRNA to 39.2-degrees Fahrenheit or room temperature for long durations. The company claims that the lyophilized process did not affect the key physicochemical parameters, biological activity, and immunogenicity of the vaccine. When tested on mice, the vaccine has induced a high-level neutralization response against both the wild-type and the current global pandemic strain Omicron. The lyophilized mRNA-Delta vaccine is highly immunogenic and can fully protect the challenged mice from SARS-COV-2 infection and clear the virus.

Outlook: New variants of the virus causing the pandemic COVID-19 is cropping up in different parts of the world. Vaccines have become the most cost-effective tool to respond to the COVID-19 and more than 10 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered globally. However, only 10% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of vaccine. Recbio claims that the lyophilized mRNA vaccine can be transported in the conventional cold-chain process that can increase the availability of mRNA in low-income countries. The company claims that lyophilization platform could significantly improve the accessibility of mRNA vaccines in remote regions.

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