Drew Weissman: When we had the virus sequence it took us only a few hours generate the mRNA

Researchers whose works have been fundamental for the development of vaccines against COVID-19 and who are already in Oviedo to pick up the Princess Princess of

Drew Weissman: When we had the virus sequence it took us only a few hours generate the mRNA

Researchers whose works have been fundamental for the development of vaccines against COVID-19 and who are already in Oviedo to pick up the Princess Princess of Asturias for Scientific and Technical Research have highlighted the enormous possibilities of RNA-based procedures Messenger, above all, in the case of vaccines for their speed, power and security. "When we had the sequence of the virus in a few hours we managed to start generating the mRNA."

And they have been clear when pointing out that "if the vaccine does not reach everyone, we will not control the pandemic". This has been pointed out at Oviedo Drew Weissman, immunologist, who works at the University of Pennsylvania next to another of the award-winning Katalin Karikó, Biochemistry, a pioneer in the study of the therapeutic possibilities of this molecule and considered the mother of this type of vaccine. Both have been working in Vaccines based on MRNM and saw that this molecule caused strong inflammatory reactions because the immune system detected it as an intruder.

The accessibility of the vaccine is not a problem of manufacturing but of political factors

Weissman highlighted the speed with which they allow the investigations based on ARNM against strategies that work with inactivated viruses. "DNA encodes all proteins that make up life and for that process cells perform a copy of DNA using the mRNA that is read by a kind of machine that is ribosome, so that protein is produced from the same code ".

Vaccines that use this technology are based on the fact that the body recognizes that protein as an absorives and thus the immune response is generated. The main advantage of this procedure, as Weissman said, is the speed of the greatest research time needed by strategies based on inactivated viruses, "which require isolating the virus, cultivating it and learning to inactivate it."

"With RNA, we only need the sequence and know the protein that interests us, with Coronavirus we had been working for a long time for this second aspect and as soon as we had the sequence it took a few hours to start generating the RNA, hence the fast Production speed, "Weissman explained.

Another advantage outstanding by this researcher has been "very powerful protection and security, with more than a billion people vaccinated and no serious adverse effect". In the same line, Katalin Karikó pronounced, who explained that the same laboratory configuration is used with the same laboratory configuration for any coding sequence and any vaccine, hence rapidity, "something very important in moments of pandemic".

If the vaccine does not reach everyone, the pandemic will not be controlled

With regard to the administration of a third dose and the difficulties of even many countries to administer the first Weissman vaccine explained that "we have many working for equality in access to vaccines, since much before the pandemic by Covid-19" , and it has been clear when saying that "until we do not get that everyone is vaccinated, we will not end up controlling the infection." According to him the third dose is accurate to achieve the necessary immunity in the face of infection "but if the rest of the world does not launch the vaccination program we will not control the epidemic."

For its part Philip Felgner, immunologist at the University of California, has been clear and forceful by pointing out that the problems in accessibility to vaccines against Coronavirus are not related to the manufacture of the product but "with political factors". Karikó backed him the words of him and knocked that, although the initial manufacture took a while and that is why in the first instance there were not so many vaccines available as desirable, "now the rhythm has already been caught and there will be more."

On the usefulness of ARNM-based techniques this expert pointed out that they are "unlimited". Among them she cited the trials that are already being carried out to codify a protein that generates new blood vessels when injected into the heart, as well as investigations with different cytokines in oncological treatments.

Felgner explained that the denomination given to these new strategies is that of disruptive technology but what it does is to allow us to work "faster, better and in a more economical way" and compared the situation to lived a few years ago with the monoclonal antibodies. Regarding the microarray technique in which he is an expert, Felgner indicated that they are used to measure antibody response related to infections or vaccines.

"When this Coronavirus arrived we had a microatrix that already measured 88 respiratory viruses at a time." The results of the trials to achieve collective immunity were surprising, "impressive, we could not believe it and we had to wait for a second phase of the analysis to be agreed that it was true, that it worked and that is what has now brought us until here".

Felgner, Karikó and Weissman will collect on Friday in Oviedo the Princess Princess Princess of Scientific and Technique, together with UUR Ahin, Özlem Türeci, Derrick Rossi and Sarah Gilbert, for its contribution independently to vaccines achieved to date.

Updated Date: 20 October 2021, 20:07

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