Home Latest News NATA awards £8M consortium funding to enhance the UK’s nucleic acid therapeutics delivery platforms

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is proud to be part of the international consortium, which brings together leading academic and industrial partners, to develop novel delivery methods for oligonucleotide therapeutics. The consortium has just been awarded £8M by the Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA).

Funded through NATA’s Delivery Challenge, the consortium is part of an overall £14M investment that NATA is making, with contributions from LifeArc, to overcome scientific challenges faced by the nucleic acid therapies field.

The Delivery Challenge seeks to develop novel methods to provide more effective targeting and delivery of oligonucleotides to the CNS, heart and muscle cells. 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.

Professor Ben Davis, Science Director of Next Generation Chemistry at the Franklin explained that:

“We [the Franklin] are excited to be working with NATA on a range of mechanistic projects surrounding nucleic acids. Nucleic acids present not only enormous therapeutic opportunities but also represent an archetypal class of biomolecules with which we intend to dissect pathways associated with pathogen and therapy biology, unpicking the key steps and parameters for their internalisation and utilisation in diverse cellular and organismal systems.”

The consortium led by Professor Matthew Wood at the University of Oxford includes University College London, the MRC Toxicology Unit, the University of Massachusetts, King’s College London, the Rosalind Franklin Institute, the Karolinska Institute, Astra Zeneca, Ionis and Silence Therapeutics – all focused on overcoming the current constraints of delivering nucleic acid therapies.

Professor Nick Lench, NATA Executive Director said:

“We are thrilled to be working with the consortium led by the University of Oxford, that brings together world renowned experts in the field of nucleic acid therapy”

“We have now funded two consortia that, over the next 3-4 years, will significantly advance the field of oligonucleotide synthesis and delivery, this represents an important milestone for the UK scientific community and NATA”.


Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA)

The Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA) is a UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)/Medical Research Council Unit funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund as part of the UK government’s National Productivity Investment Fund. NATA’s mission is to advance the development of nucleic acid therapies (NATs) and associated technologies through high-quality science, collaborations and interdisciplinary research. NATA works with world-leading academics, clinicians, businesses and charities, bringing together a diverse network of expertise, skills and innovative technologies to bridge translational gaps in NAT development. For more information, please visit www.natahub.org or email enquiries@natahub.org.

Rosalind Franklin Institute