The Rosalind Franklin Institute is delighted to part of a second consortium, which has been awarded £6M in funding by the UKRI/MRC Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA). The award to an academic-industry consortium led by Professor Nick Turner at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), University of Manchester.
Funded through NATA’s Manufacturing Challenge, the consortium is part of an overall £14M investment that NATA is making, with additional contributions from LifeArc, to overcome scientific challenges faced by the nucleic acid therapies field.
The Manufacturing Challenge seeks to address limitations in the sustainable production of nucleic acid therapeutics and to benefit the wider UK research and manufacturing community. These therapies have the potential to tackle rare and common diseases, including cancer, that arise in patients by allowing researchers to modify the expression of faulty genes that cause disease.
The MIB consortium brings together a diverse range of academic and industrial partners including the University of Keele, the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Nuclera, AstraZeneca, LGC, Agilent and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) – all focused on developing new enzymatic platforms and methods for the biosynthesis of oligonucleotides at scale without the constraints of the current solid-phase methods and dependency on organic solvents.
Professor Nick Lench, NATA Executive Director said: “The ability to attract and work with a world-class team at MIB and its consortium partners, is an important milestone in the evolution of NATA and the advancement of nucleic acid therapies. “By bringing together industry and academia we hope to strengthen the translational pipeline to support innovation and patient access to nucleic acid-based therapies.”