How to make mRNA therapy safe from the start

By Cynthia McCormick Hibbert

The success of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 has unleashed a flood of interest in using the technology to create more vaccines and treatments for everything from rare diseases and infections to cancer.

But before new mRNA therapeutics are put to use, they need to be assessed for toxicity and patient safety.

A paper in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery co-authored by Northeastern professor Mansoor Amiji outlines several strategies to check for toxicity at the preclinical level that bypass the need for problematic animal testing.

“We are at a very interesting point in the mRNA field, asking what else can be done with it,” says Amiji, university distinguished professor of pharmaceutical sciences and chemical engineering.

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