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    Messenger RNA was discovered in 1961 and it took 60 years until the first mRNA became FDA-approved product in the form of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. During those years a lot of progress has been made by hundreds of scientists. It was 1978 when the first-time isolated mRNA delivered into mammalian cells produced the encoded protein. In vitro transcription introduced in 1984 made it possible to generate any desired mRNA from the encoding plasmid using phage RNA polymerases. In the early 90s mRNA was used for therapy as well as vaccine against infectious diseases and cancer. Inflammatory nature of the mRNAs limited their in vivo use. Replacing uridine with pseudouridine made the mRNA non-immunogenic, more stable and highly translatable. Delivery of the lipid nanoparticle-formulated nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding viral antigens became a platform for effective vaccine. Labile nature of the mRNA is ideal for transient production of the viral antigen, to generate effective antibody and cellular immune response. The mRNA platform is revolutionizing the delivery of effective and safe vaccines, therapeutics and gene therapies.

    Citation

    Katalin Karikó. Developing mRNA for Therapy. The Keio journal of medicine. 2022;71(1):31

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    PMID: 35342149

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