Precision medicine has seen extraordinary advances in recent years, driven largely by research into oligonucleotide biosynthesis. These tiny fragments of nucleic acid have emerged as key players in the development of highly targeted therapies that could revolutionise the treatment of diseases ranging from genetic to complex.
Oligonucleotide biosynthesis is a process in which bacteria are used as a cellular chassis for efficient RNA production. This system takes advantage of the unique characteristics of bacteria to perform oligonucleotide synthesis in a more rapid and scalable manner compared to traditional methods resulting in RNA production under culture conditions that maximise oligonucleotide production.
The complexity of the technique lies in the purification or downstream processing (DSP), i.e. in lysing the bacteria to recover the part we are interested in, the oligonucleotides.
This production system has undergone a significant evolution thanks to the convergence of molecular biology and genetic engineering. Researchers are exploring various techniques to synthesise oligonucleotides more efficiently and accurately, enabling large-scale manufacturing and reducing associated costs.
One of the notable advances has been the improvement in the synthesis of messenger RNA (mRNA) oligonucleotides, used in next-generation vaccines, which has been crucial in rapidly addressing viral threats, as we have seen with the pandemic response.
Sustainable development in the pharmaceutical industry
Sustainability has become a fundamental pillar in all industries, and pharmaceuticals is no exception. In the context of oligonucleotide biosynthesis, the adoption of more sustainable practices has become imperative. The development of cleaner production processes and the reduction of chemical waste are key areas where the industry is focusing its efforts.
In addition, the use of renewable raw materials and the optimisation of energy efficiency are objectives that seek not only to improve environmental sustainability, but also to reduce the costs associated with production, facilitating access to advanced therapies.
Integrating sustainable practices in the pharmaceutical industry is not only an ethical responsibility, but also a smart strategy to ensure the long-term viability of research and development of innovative therapies, paving the way for a future where human health and the health of the planet are intrinsically interconnected.
A look into the future
The future of precision medicine and oligonucleotide biosynthesis looks exciting. Research is expected to continue to drive the precision and specificity of therapies, enabling the development of treatments for diseases with complex or undiagnosed approaches.
Oligonucleotide biosynthesis will be able to play a crucial role in the advancement of precision medicine. As research continues to flourish, it is essential that the pharmaceutical industry maintains a sustainable approach to its practices, ensuring not only the efficacy of therapies, but also the long-term health of our planet.
In this respect, 53Biologics has positioned itself as a key entity within the OLIGOFASTX consortium, playing a crucial role in the research and development of proprietary technologies for the manufacture of therapeutic RNAs, working on the optimisation of in vitro transcription reaction processes to the most promising in vivo production strategies.
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