BioNTech and Matinas collaborate on mRNA vaccines

Article by Amanda Doyle

BIONTECH has signed a collaboration agreement with Matinas BioPharma to advance formulations for mRNA vaccines, including a potential method for the oral administration of vaccines.

Matinas is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that has developed a proprietary lipid nanocrystal (LNC) platform technology that enables the intracellular delivery of a wide range of medicines including nucleic acids, small molecules, proteins, vaccines, and gene therapies. Drug molecules are encapsulated in a natural, non-toxic spiral crystal which protects them until they enter the target cell. This allows drug molecules to be released directly into the interior of the cell which improves the safety of drugs that can be toxic to other parts of the body and can allow the patient to avoid side effects from the drugs.  

The collaboration between Matinas and BioNTech aims to evaluate the combination of mRNA formats with Matinas’ LNC technology, with a focus on formulation, optimisation, and in vitro testing.

Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech, said: “We pioneered the treatment of the first patient in history with nano-sized lipid-encapsulated mRNA back in 2015, after years of extensive research. Accomplishing strong immune responses with low doses is crucial in the development of well-tolerated and highly effective vaccines. This can be achieved with the right technology that enables targeted vaccine delivery. Matinas’ LNC platform demonstrates encouraging capabilities for intracellular delivery, including the opportunity for oral delivery. We are excited to collaborate with this extraordinary team of experts.” 

Jerome Jabbour, CEO and Co-Founder of Matinas, said: “This collaboration with BioNTech is an important validation from a leading global biotech company with demonstrated expertise in the design, formulation, and delivery of mRNA. We are thrilled to partner with this world-class organisation to further demonstrate the capabilities of our LNC platform, and potentially provide an opportunity for the oral administration of vaccines or other treatments. Intracellular delivery remains a significant challenge for many emerging therapies and the combination of oral bioavailability with non-immunogenic transfection could potentially benefit tens of millions of patients around the world.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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