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COVID-19 Vaccines and the Role of Lipid Nanoparticles Delivery

mRNA vaccines are using a promising technology and an alternative option to conventional vaccine approaches. Some of their benefits include their low-cost manufacture, high potency, safety, and rapid development. The mechanism by which they work in the human body is by triggering the immune system leading to the development of antibodies and cytotoxic T cells. However, some of their drawbacks included their instability and inefficient in vivo delivery of mRNA. The key to an effective mRNA vaccine is efficient in vivo delivery which is provided by lipid nanoparticles. They can facilitate endosomal escape. They can be targeted to the selected cell type, and they can be delivered with adjuvants. The era of COVID-19 has brought to the forefront mRNA-based vaccines. At present, lipid...

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Overview of Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery and Development

Established and defined by the US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA), drug development includes the five stages below: Discovery and Development Preclinical Research Clinical Research FDA Review FDA Post-Market and Safety Monitoring  Discovery and Development: In this step, researchers in academic institutions, government laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies' Research and Development discover new pharmaceutical drugs and formulations. In this step, the pharmaceutical development purpose is to stop or reverse the effect of a specific disease or illness. In these steps, experiments are designed with various biomolecules to identify the benefits of a particular formulation that works for a disease or condition. Moreover, the unanticipated effect of those formulations is recognized for any adverse effects on patients. Lastly, the new technologies are incorporated...

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Novel Self-Amplifying RNA Lipid Nanoparticle Vaccines

The increase of the SARS-CoV-2 into a global pandemic within a few months of onset motivates developing a rapidly scalable vaccine. In an article published in nature communication this year, the Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London group (Paul F. McKay et al.), demonstrates vaccine formulation using a self-amplifying RNA encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein encapsulated within a lipid nanoparticle (LNP). In a set of experiments, they observed the too high generation of dose-dependent SARS-CoV-2 antibodies titers in mice samples, as well as substantial neutralization of both a wild-type virus and pseudo-virus. With several types of characterizations, they showed that the neutralization is comparative to the number of IgG’s and of greater magnitude than recovered COVID-19 patients. On the other...

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Enhance Intracellular Delivery of Messenger RNA (mRNA)

Key Words: LNPs (Lipid Nanoparticles) and eLNP (C-24 alkyl phytosterols incorporated LNPs) Endosomal sequestration of lipid-based nanoparticles (LNPs) stays as a challenging obstacle to drug delivery systems. In a significant work done by Siddharth Patel et al. it is shown that for keeping the efficient transfection, incorporating C-24 alkyl phytosterols into LNPs (eLNPs) increases gene transfection. They also showed the length of the alkyl tail. The flexibility of the sterol ring and polarity due to -OH groups can also improve the cells' transfection of lipid nanoparticles 1.  In another part of the study, the group ran Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscopy (cryo-TEM) to study the particles' morphology. Cryo-TEM showed a polyhedral profile for eLNPs when compared to spherical lipid nanoparticles, while x-ray scattering demonstrates a small variation...

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Biotechnology Validation of Lipid Nanoparticles: A Major Potential in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The first lipid nanoparticle vaccines have been developed in 2020 by Moderna Therapeutics and Pfizer and BioNTech corporation collaboration (Moderna's mRNA-1273 and BioNtech/Pfizer's BNT162b2). These vaccines are made of lipid nanoparticles encapsulated mRNA. Here we explain these two terms: Messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA): mRNAs are single-stranded Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) nucleic acids representing a sequence of genes. Lipid Nanoparticles: Lipid nanoparticles are novel nanoscaled (30-200nm) particles made of lipids (fat molecules), widely expanding as pharmaceutical drug delivery vehicles for genes and nucleic acids. Now a new era of pharmaceutical therapeutics and vaccines are being developed using these nanoparticles. These nanoparticles can be customer design for effective delivery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) is a real breakthrough for the life science industry. Therefore,...

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