The clinical stage immunotherapy company will open a current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) facility to further work on its mRNA-based TriMix platform, which includes three mRNA encoding proteins that are used in its immuno-oncology products.
Wim Tiest, a spokesperson for eTheRNA, told us that the opening of this manufacturing facility will be a milestone in the implementation of the company’s strategy to develop TriMix-based immunotherapies. The TriMix platform was developed at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Therapy.
He told us that TriMix gets its name because it is composed of three mRNA’s. The company has to ensure that these mRNA’s are in order, to implement them in its clinical development program.
eTheRNA states that it is one of the few companies that is capable of supplying mRNA of the quality required for clinical investigations, deciding to control the supply for its own clinical trials itself.
“Chairman Russell Greig confirmed that is quite unusual for a biotech to invest so heavily in manufacturing at this stage, which illustrates the particular situation and underlines the strategic importance,” said Tiest.
Tiest continued, “The €5m ($6.6m) investment in the mRNA production facility represents a commitment to the region from where eTheRNA is operating. Employment at eTheRNA has grown from 10 employees in 2016 to 44 today, of which about half are involved in the mRNA production and related activities (the other half are involved in research and development, with some general administrative functions as well).”
The new facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 39 mRNA batches per year which should allow for the enrollment of an estimated 100 patients in clinical trials per year.