eTheRNA’s mRNA-Lipid Nanoparticles (LNP) Technology Developed for its Cancer Immunotherapy Programs
02 March 2022
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eTheRNA’s VP of Discovery Stefaan De Koker, Ph.D., provided an overview of eTheRNA’s LNP technology developed for its cancer immunotherapy programs. This was followed by a Q&A discussion with Michael J. Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and Principal Investigator at Penn’s Mitchell Lab.
The key takeaways from the webinar included:
- Four component lipid-based nanoparticles are an essential component of all mRNA vaccines, as seen in the highly successful SARS-CoV-2 vaccines
- Ionizable lipid chemistry and LNP composition need to be tailored towards the intended biological activity and route of administration
- LNPs can act as adjuvant for generation of a potent immune response, which is desired for vaccines and cancer immunotherapies but is unwanted in other disease areas (protein replacement therapies, auto-immune disease, gene editing,…)
- Main challenges for LNPs include targeted delivery, improved endosomal escape, large scale manufacturing and improved storage characteristics
- eTheRNA has evolved the knowhow and ability to optimize LNPs and to expand their use to novel mRNA therapeutics beyond vaccines
- eTheRNA has developed optimized LNP formulations for cancer immunotherapy. A first LNP induces high magnitude T cell responses against mRNA encoded tumor antigens by delivering the mRNA payload to antigen presenting cells in the spleen. A second LNP has been tailored towards local intratumoral delivery. This LNP is being used to encode immune-stimulatory proteins in the tumor environment and combines high antitumor efficacy with reduced off-target expression in liver.