New RNA Centre of Excellence and Training Academy to become beacon for RNA R&D
CPI, a deep-tech innovation centre, has launched an RNA Centre of Excellence and training academy to support the development, scale-up and manufacture of new and novel RNA therapies and vaccines.
The use of RNA in oncology, and as a potential vaccine platform, has shown promise for many years, both via short chain oligonucleotides and longer chain mRNA and self-amplifying RNA. Thanks to the funding, development, clinical trials, and approval of highly effective mRNA vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, RNA has been demonstrated as a viable therapeutic platform and has quickly advanced our knowledge of the technology and its manufacture.
To prepare for global demand for this exciting emerging technology, CPI is expanding capacity at its site in Darlington to include GMP facilities for the clinical manufacture of RNA, and is collaborating with the National Horizons Centre, part of Teesside University, to form a new National Training Academy for RNA Therapeutics and Vaccines Manufacture.
CPI has extensive experience in lipid nanoparticle technology and state-of-the-art equipment to synthesise, purify, manufacture, and encapsulate mRNA and saRNA using lipid nanoparticle technology. Using biologics and formulation capabilities, CPI has developed steps to enable scale-up to 4L synthesis of a saRNA and lipid nanoparticle encapsulation process – achieving the largest scale RNA vaccine manufacture in the UK.
CPI is currently the only company based in the UK capable of developing, manufacturing and encapsulating RNA vaccines ready for use in clinical trials in one location. This end-to-end capability on one site in the UK will help to drive the productivity and efficiency of RNA manufacturing.
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We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.
The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.
CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.
Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.
The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.
It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.