– I believe that mRNA will change medical treatment in the future. There are 250 clinical studies underway now, says Drew Weissman, one of this year’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
His research group at the University of Pennsylvania conducts animal trials and patient studies of mRNA vaccines against, among others, norovirus, malaria, tuberculosis, peanut and mite allergies, type 1 diabetes, gluten intolerance, and rheumatoid arthritis. Many mRNA studies for cancer treatment are also being conducted around the world.
After one injection, the patients became healthy
A study conducted on a patient with hereditary liver disease had amazing results. “One treatment and a year later patients were still recovering,” says Drew Weisman.
The second winner of this year’s Medicine Prize leads a research group at the University of Szeged in Hungary that is also developing new mRNA therapies.
– A team is working on a vaccine against Candida infection (a fungal disease), says Katalin Carrico.
Using mRNA, the body makes its own medicine
The clever thing about using mRNA technology as a treatment is that you are then giving the cells a recipe so that they themselves can produce the proteins they need for good health.
– It’s as if you are in a restaurant where you have a recipe (mRNA) and take it to the chef (ribosomes) who cooks it, explains Katalin Carrico.
Drew Wiseman has been searching for a cure for HIV for 30 years and hopes that messenger RNA (mRNA) will lead to a breakthrough against AIDS so that another global epidemic can be stopped.
The advantage of using RNA is that it may one day be possible to treat people infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa with a single injection, curing them of the virus, according to Drew Wiseman.
“Extreme tv maven. Beer fanatic. Friendly bacon fan. Communicator. Wannabe travel expert.”