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Biomedicines ; 10(1)2021 Dec 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581027


In the quest for a formidable weapon against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, mRNA therapeutics have stolen the spotlight. mRNA vaccines are a prime example of the benefits of mRNA approaches towards a broad array of clinical entities and druggable targets. Amongst these benefits is the rapid cycle "from design to production" of an mRNA product compared to their peptide counterparts, the mutability of the production line should another target be chosen, the side-stepping of safety issues posed by DNA therapeutics being permanently integrated into the transfected cell's genome and the controlled precision over the translated peptides. Furthermore, mRNA applications are versatile: apart from vaccines it can be used as a replacement therapy, even to create chimeric antigen receptor T-cells or reprogram somatic cells. Still, the sudden global demand for mRNA has highlighted the shortcomings in its industrial production as well as its formulation, efficacy and applicability. Continuous, smart mRNA manufacturing 4.0 technologies have been recently proposed to address such challenges. In this work, we examine the lab and upscaled production of mRNA therapeutics, the mRNA modifications proposed that increase its efficacy and lower its immunogenicity, the vectors available for delivery and the stability considerations concerning long-term storage.

Pharmaceutics ; 13(9)2021 Aug 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405465


Continuous mRNA drugs manufacturing is perceived to nurture flow processes featuring quality by design, controlled automation, real time validation, robustness, and reproducibility, pertaining to regulatory harmonization. However, the actual adaptation of the latter remains elusive, hence batch-to-continuous transition would a priori necessitate holistic process understanding. In addition, the cost related to experimental, pilot manufacturing lines development and operations thereof renders such venture prohibitive. Systems-based Pharmaceutics 4.0 digital design enabling tools, i.e., converging mass and energy balance simulations, Monte-Carlo machine learning iterations, and spatial arrangement analysis were recruited herein to overcome the aforementioned barriers. The primary objective of this work is to hierarchically design the related bioprocesses, embedded in scalable devices, compatible with continuous operation. Our secondary objective is to harvest the obtained technological data and conduct resource commitment analysis. We herein demonstrate for first time the feasibility of the continuous, end-to-end production of sterile mRNA formulated into lipid nanocarriers, defining the equipment specifications and the desired operational space. Moreover, we find that the cell lysis modules and the linearization enzymes ascend as the principal resource-intensive model factors, accounting for 40% and 42% of the equipment and raw material, respectively. We calculate MSPD 1.30-1.45 €, demonstrating low margin lifecycle fluctuation.

Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Aug 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377007


Administration of mRNA against SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated sufficient efficacy, tolerability and clinical potential to disrupt the vaccination field. A multiple-arm, cohort randomized, mixed blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to investigate the in vivo expression of mRNA antibodies to immunosuppressed murine models to conduct efficacy, safety and bioavailability evaluation. Enabling 4.0 tools we reduced animal sacrifice, while interventions were designed compliant to HARRP and SPIRIT engagement: (a) Randomization, blinding; (b) pharmaceutical grade formulation, monitoring; (c) biochemical and histological analysis; and (d) theoretic, statistical analysis. Risk assessment molded the study orientations, according to the ARRIVE guidelines. The primary target of this protocol is the validation of the research hypothesis that autologous translation of Trastuzumab by in vitro transcribed mRNA-encoded antibodies to immunosuppressed animal models, is non-inferior to classical treatments. The secondary target is the comparative pharmacokinetic assessment of the novel scheme, between immunodeficient and healthy subjects. Herein, the debut clinical protocol, investigating the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic impact of mRNA vaccination to immunodeficient organisms. Our design, contributes novel methodology to guide the preclinical development of RNA antibody modalities by resolving efficacy, tolerability and dose regime adjustment for special populations that are incapable of humoral defense.

Exp Ther Med ; 21(3): 244, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073518


As one year is approaching since the beginning of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to acknowledge the detrimental effect that it is having on mental health at the individual, societal and public health levels. The current review presents the direct and indirect psychological impact of COVID-19 on the general public, as well as on vulnerable groups, including the elderly, the young, healthcare professionals, people with pre-existing mental health issues, those infected by COVID-19, homeless people and refugees. Important findings are discussed in the present review, including the social stigma in older people associated with portraying COVID-19 as the disease of the elderly, and the limited psychological impact of COVID-19 in the severely mentally ill, alongside the response of the mental healthcare systems globally to this unparalleled public health crisis. The important lessons to be learnt so far can help formulate individual mental health recommendations, as well as improved intervention and prevention public health strategies.