The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way that people view therapeutics.
Before the COVID-19 vaccines were created, the record for the fastest ever vaccine creation was five years.
The average time it took for a vaccine to be developed was between ten to fifteen years. The vaccines were developed in an incredibly short amount of time, but they have displayed high effectiveness in clinical trials and real-life deployment.
You might be wondering why COVID-19 vaccines have managed to beat previous records so significantly while still being effective. The answer is simple: the mRNA era is beginning.
The use of mRNA biology has made things possible that were never before thought to be achievable.
The Start of an mRNA Focus
The rapid clinical development of COVID-19 vaccines has shown the scientific community and the world just how influential mRNA biology can be for therapeutics.
The world has become aware of the distinct benefits that mRNA vaccines offer as alternatives to conventional vaccine approaches.
As we have seen in the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, some of the benefits include high potency, the potential for rapid development, relatively low manufacturing costs, low severity of side effects, and safe administration.
The COVID-19 vaccine developments both shocked and delighted people across the globe.
Not only did experts predict that it would take much longer for a vaccine to be created, but they also assumed that no vaccine could be created quickly with such a successful outcome.
When you look at the practicalities of mRNA therapeutics, however, these vaccines' efficacy should come as no surprise.
What is mRNA Biology?
mRNA plays a vital and fundamental role in the synthesis of protein and has huge potential for therapeutics.
mRNA is essentially the way that your cells send information to each other. When a cell component needs to produce a certain protein, for example, they get the 'recipe' and the instructions from mRNA.
mRNA biology is essentially humans using these instructions to tell your cells and cell components what to do.
In therapeutics, this is often the synthesis of a specific protein that leads to a positive outcome (e.g., protection from COVID-19). When mRNA biology is used, numerous opportunities are created in the world of disease treatment and prevention.
This is because mRNA medicines can work in a way that other medicines cannot. mRNA medicines work inside the cells to have a direct influence on protein production.
The Start of the mRNA Era
The recent advancements in the understanding of mRNA biology, thanks to creating the COVID-19 vaccines, have shown the world the power of mRNA for treating diseases.
This influence extends beyond the novel coronavirus to various viral and bacterial infections, from cancer to neurological disorders.
mRNA biology can be used to develop drugs using RNA targeted small molecules, which has a huge potential for novel therapeutic intervention points.
The mRNA substance was not discovered until 1961, and the concept of mRNA-based drugs did not come into existence until 1989.
In the 1990s, the first animal trials exploring the potential for mRNA-based drugs were underway. mRNA biology has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time, thanks in part to the rapid innovation and research associated with the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
These vaccines have shown the public the potential and numerous benefits of mRNA, but the effects are not limited to novel coronaviruses.
From cancers to infection diseases, mRNA biology's potential to create previously untreatable diseases is being celebrated.
Almost as importantly, they have demonstrated that they can work on the economic level, which means the era of mRNA therapeutics is soon to explode into life.