Proposed ‘drug library’ could produce millions of vaccine doses



The library will help fight different strains of the virus

A proposed vaccine library in the North East could produce millions of doses of a Covid-19 vaccine if approved.

Scientists in Teesside are developing the proposed library to combat different strains of the virus in the future.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, recently visited CPI in Darlington to hear more about plans for the development of an mRNA ‘vaccine library’, which will help in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.

This UK-led science will play a key role in the international efforts to future-proof our resilience to new variants of COVID-19.
CPI was awarded £5 million investment to support its mRNA vaccine technology, which was announced in the Budget.

CPI CEO Frank Millar said: “The world-leading science we’re developing here in Darlington will be an essential part of the ongoing fight against coronavirus. As we prepare for a future living with the threat of COVID-19, the library of vaccine candidates we are building will help future-proof against further outbreaks caused by new strains of the disease.

“It will mean that as soon as a new strain of COVID-19 is identified, the relevant vaccine can be selected and rapidly manufactured for use in clinical trials, in a very similar way that we see flu vaccines developed each year.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “CPI in Darlington is playing a critical role in our national effort against COVID-19, and it was fantastic to see cutting-edge vaccine development happening right here in the North East.

“We’re backing CPI’s life-saving work with an additional £5million, which will further support our scientists and researchers to rapidly respond to new virus variants if they emerge.”

The vaccine library will form the basis of a rapid response facility, which will enable mRNA vaccines to be developed to help protect against new variants of COVID-19 as and when they emerge. When new variants of COVID-19 are identified, their DNA can be used to develop mRNA vaccines in a matter of days.

The vaccines will be banked in a‘vaccine library’, ready for future manufacture and scale-up when needed, with the potential to deliver enough doses for clinical trials in a week.

CPI, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, has been working with the UK Vaccine Taskforce since March 2020, applying its world-leading expertise in the development of mRNA vaccines to support the fight against coronavirus. CPI is currently the only company based in the UK capable of batch developing mRNA vaccines ready for use in clinical trials and manufacture.

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