RARE Daily

Alnylam becomes a partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre

October 8, 2021

The independent technology innovation center CPI, which brings together academia, business, government, and investors to commercialize promising ideas, said Alnylam has become a partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre’s third Grand Challenge project to revolutionize the manufacturing process for oligonucleotide therapies.

Photo: Al Boyle, chief technical operations and quality officer at Alnylam

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde, UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Enterprise, and founding industry partners, AstraZeneca and GSK. This third Grand Challenge seeks to help overcome barriers to the scalable, affordable, and sustainable manufacture of oligonucleotides. Alnylam joins other Grand Challenge 3 industry partners Novartis, Exactmer, and AstraZeneca in the effort.

Oligonucleotides are short strands of modified DNA or RNA that can, in a highly targeted way, modify the expression of proteins linked to a range of diseases. Oligonucleotide therapies are already approved for use in some rare genetic disorders, but also have the potential to help in more common diseases—like Alzheimer’s disease, which affects more than 20 million people worldwide, and hypertension.

The oligonucleotide therapeutics market has immense potential and is projected to be worth $7.23 billion by 2024. However, it is difficult to produce oligonucleotides easily, cheaply, and at scale using current technologies. This poses a challenge to making these life-changing therapies available to everyone who needs them.

Alnylam has been an industry leader in RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics since its founding in 2002. With a broad portfolio of oligonucleotide therapies on the market and in development for genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic diseases, CNS/​ocular diseases and infectious diseases, Alnylam’s expertise in oligonucleotides will be invaluable for GC3.

​“The goal of this Grand Challenge, to revolutionize the manufacturing process for oligonucleotide therapies, is critically important for the future of medicine,” said Al Boyle, chief technical operations and quality officer at Alnylam. “The success of this Grand Challenge will help enable innovators to advance the promise of oligonucleotide therapies to broader patient populations, allowing for sustainable production at larger scale and lower cost.”

The first Grand Challenge, in collaboration with CMAC University of Strathclyde, is exploring how oral solid dosage medicines can be produced more robustly and efficiently using continuous direct compression. The second focuses on how these medicines can then be delivered to patients with minimal waste and maximum speed using just-in-time manufacture and supply capabilities.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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