CPI launches RNA Centre of Excellence

To prepare for global demand for the technology, CPI is expanding capacity at its site in Darlington to include GMP facilities for the clinical manufacture of RNA

CPI has launched an RNA Centre of Excellence and training academy aimed to support the development, scale-up and manufacture of RNA therapies and vaccines.

Owing to the funding, development, clinical trials, and approval of mRNA vaccines through the pandemic, RNA has been shown to be a viable therapeutic platform and knowledge of the technology and its manufacture has quickly advanced.

To prepare for global demand for the technology, CPI is expanding capacity at its site in Darlington to include GMP facilities for the clinical manufacture of RNA, and is collaborating with the National Horizons Centre, part of Teesside University, to form a national training academy for RNA therapeutics and vaccines manufacture.

The company has experience in lipid nanoparticle technology and the equipment to synthesise, purify, manufacture, and encapsulate mRNA and saRNA using lipid nanoparticle technology. Using biologics and formulation capabilities, it’s developed steps to enable scale up to 4 L synthesis of a saRNA and lipid nanoparticle encapsulation process.

The GMP ready facility is expected to be ready in November. The modular nature of the building is designed to enable quick increases in size to deal with emerging pandemics or infectious disease threats if required. The extra facilities will support government programmes, industry R&D, and the development of RNA manufacturing technologies and processes.

Apprentices, technicians, scientists, and executives will be able to access a series of courses on the development and manufacture of RNA, RNA encapsulation, and final formulation at the National Training Academy for RNA from January 2022.

Dr Lucy Foley, Director of Biologics at CPI, said: “The agility of RNA technology makes it a real game changer for therapeutics. Having established itself as a breakthrough technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be prepared with the skills and facilities to support this emerging RNA industry.

“Both the RNA Centre of Excellence and Training Academy will support the development of new licensed RNA products for the treatment of many different diseases. This is fantastic news for the biopharmaceutical industry, and for human health.”