In an effort to safely deliver mRNA, Stanford University teams up with German biotech Evonik
Delivering mRNA effectively and safely into the cell is one of the toughest challenges for expanding the use of the therapeutics that have taken off in popularity as of late. A deal between Germany-based specialty chemicals company Evonik and Stanford University will help develop a polymer-based delivery system for Evonik to license and commercialize.
The company will work with university scientists to scale up the synthesis and formulation to develop organ selective delivery based on a synthetic polymer through a system dubbed as CART that was developed by Stanford professors Robert Waymouth, Paul Wender and Ronald Levy.
Once completed, the technology will be made available for GMP use in clinical-stage development, and eventually commercially, if all goes according to plan. mRNA delivery is a leading obstacle in cancer immunotherapy, protein replacement and gene editing. Higher ups at Evonik think that the company is well-position to take on many of the industry’s unmet needs.
The deal is good for three years, and Evonik announced that it hopes the move will help the company increase its nutrition and care division’s share of system solutions from 20% to more than 50% by 2030.
Evonik’s portfolio consists of lipid nanoparticles and custom lipids, formulation development and the manufacturing of clinical samples and commercial products. Evonik’s LNP-based delivery systems are projected to bring in about $5 billion to the company by 2026, the company says. It acquired Tranfserra Nanosciences in 2016, and then manufacturer Wilshire Technologies in 2020.
Christian Kullmann“If we are to harness the full potential of mRNA therapeutics, we will need a toolbox of drug delivery technologies to target an expanded range of tissues and organs,” VP of research, development and innovation Stefan Randl said in the press release.
The company has a broad CDMO portfolio of parenteral drug delivery technologies, and focuses on the development of drug products with highly potent APIs and controlled substances. The portfolio includes more than 6 parenteral drug delivery technologies. Its CDMO work will take place at the company’s facilities in Vancouver, BC and Birmingham, AL, an Evonik spokesman said in an email to Endpoints News.
Monday, Evonik also announced the launch of a 3D-printing biomaterial used for Polyether ether ketone. With the release, the company can provide individualized patient care in hearing aids, dental use, prosthetics and surgical instruments. Called Vestakeep Care, it is supplied on 500-gram spools that can be used with fused filament fabrication or fused deposition modeling printers.
Christian Kullmann, Evonik CEO