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, lipid nanoparticles may induce significant changes in pharmaceutical development in the future. The ability to design and architect these lipid nanoparticles to target a specific site of interest can open a massive door for drugs and vaccines that could not be effectively delivered to cells of parts previously. This is excellent news for life science that lipid nanoparticles will help cure incurable diseases by effectively delivering active ingredients with high bioavailability.
It is essential to know as we take medicine, the drug's active ingredient goes to the entire body where lipid nanoparticles can help target specific sites of interest and reduce side effects. These nanoparticles also may help with reduction in the course of treatment.
- Sharma, A., Madhunapantula, S.V. and Robertson, G.P., 2012. Toxicological considerations when creating nanoparticle-based drugs and drug delivery systems. Expert opinion on drug metabolism & toxicology, 8(1), pp.47-69.