2021-11-26

Can mRNA vaccine give us “superhuman” immunity?

By yqqlm yqqlm

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in order to improve the vaccination speed, France decided to extend the vaccination interval of mRNA new crown vaccine

few outsiders heard of mRNA vaccine, because there was no such vaccine at that time. She organized an annual meeting in 2019 with only dozens of participants. Now, she has become a “hot” figure, not only as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, but also as a science blogger on tiktok, with 253000 fans and 3.7 million compliments. She admitted that she caught up with a wave of scientific progress in the right place and at the right time. She even named this new era: “RNA + Renaissance.”

441e07e483ac78c - Can mRNA vaccine give us "superhuman" immunity?

, because of COVID-19, many people have heard of it today and have been vaccinated by Pfizer /BioNTech or modner’s mRNA vaccine. However, when blakney began to study for his doctorate at Imperial College in 2016, “many people are still skeptical about its effect. Now, the whole mRNA research field is undergoing explosive development, which has completely changed the situation of the medical industry.”

the influence of mRNA vaccine is too great, This raises some exciting questions: can mRNA vaccine cure diseases such as cancer, AIDS, tropical diseases, and even endow us with “superhuman” immunity? p>

messenger RNA (mRNA) is a single stranded molecule responsible for transmitting the genetic information of DNA to the protein “manufacturing machine” in cells. Without mRNA, genetic coding cannot be used, proteins cannot be synthesized, and body functions cannot function normally. If DNA is compared to a bank card, mRNA is equivalent to a card reader

once the virus enters human cells, it will release its own mRNA, and use the “hijacked” cells to spit out more copies in the form of virus protein, which will infringe on the human immune system. The function principle of traditional vaccine is to inject inactivated virus protein (also known as antigen) into the body to stimulate the human immune system. When the virus reappears, the immune system can quickly recognize it. MRNA vaccines are different. They use the antigen gene sequence translated into mRNA, which is equivalent to fooling the human body with the “ghost” of the actual virus to produce real antibodies. Next, the artificial mRNA contained in the vaccine will be broken down by the body’s natural defense system, leaving only antibodies in the body

therefore, compared with traditional vaccines, mRNA vaccines are safer, faster and cheaper to produce. There is no need for large-scale biosafety laboratories to cultivate deadly viruses. Only one laboratory needs to find out the antigen protein code and send it to all parts of the world by e-mail. Blakney pointed out that with this information, a laboratory can “produce 1000 doses of mRNA in a 100 ml test tube”

today, this process is happening in real time. In January 10, 2020, Professor Zhang Yongzhen of China CDC completed the COVID-19 genome sequencing first and published the following day. In March 11th, who officially declared New Coronavirus pneumonia an epidemic. On March 16, using the sequencing results of Professor Zhang Yongzhen, the phase I clinical trial of the first mRNA vaccine began. On December 11, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration officially approved Pfizer / biontech new crown vaccine, which not only became the first human mRNA vaccine in history, but also the first vaccine with an effective rate of 95% in clinical trials. Previously, the title of “the fastest vaccine” was owned by mumps vaccine, which took four years to develop. The Modena and Pfizer / biontech vaccines took only 11 months

The theory behind

mRNA vaccine was first proposed by Catalin korico and drew Weisman of the University of Pennsylvania. Both of them won the Lasker prize, the top biomedical research award in the United States, in 2021. In 2019, the scientific community also believed that the mainstream mRNA vaccine would take at least five years to be available. But the epidemic has accelerated this process for half a century. Catherine Whitehead, associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and key collaborators of Weisman and corrico, admitted: “even in the field of mRNA therapy, few people can expect that mRNA vaccine can achieve 95% initial effectiveness in such an emergency.”

but now it seems that, The potential of mRNA vaccines seems endless. Or as blakney said: “now everyone’s idea is, since it is effective for viral glycoprotein, what other vaccines can we develop with mRNA? Can we go further on this basis?”

dragney Fu, associate professor of Biology Department of Rochester University, pointed out that if we regard the current mRNA vaccine as version 1.0, Then the 2 version will be able to solve two other diseases: “one kind of pathogens such as SARS and” invaders “such as HIV. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, there were already mRNA vaccines against AIDS. He also mentioned that zeca virus, blister virus and Plasmodium also belong to pathogens. p>

“the other is autoimmune diseases, which is very interesting because it has gone beyond the strict definition of vaccine.” dragney Fu said that mRNA therapy may be used for such diseases in the future, such as reducing inflammation. “Theoretically, this provides us with many possibilities.”

Dong Yizhou, associate professor of pharmacy and pharmacology at Ohio State University, specializes in lipid research. Lipids can wrap mRNA and transport it safely to cells so that it will not be destroyed as soon as it enters the human body. Lipid is an “unsung hero”. If lipid delivery technology had not been improved and approved in 2018, we would not have developed a new mRNA vaccine in 2020. Before the outbreak of Xinguan, there were many studies on the combination of lipid delivery technology and mRNA, including genetic diseases, cancer immunotherapy, infectious diseases and bacterial infections. “Theoretically, as long as there are antigens and protein sequencing results,”

thanks to the double breakthrough of lipid transport and mRNA technology, many vaccines and therapies have been developed, including Translate Bio’s mRNA therapy for cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis, Gritstone Oncology and Gilead Sciences’s HIV vaccine. MRNA therapy for cystic fibrosis and heart disease of Arcturus therapeutics, and mRNA therapy developed by German start-ups ethris and AstraZeneca for a variety of severe lung diseases and asthma

solutions for tropical diseases are also being explored. Modena is about to carry out phase II clinical trial of mRNA vaccine against Zika virus and Chikungunya disease (a total of three phases). Both viruses have not received enough attention, and research projects and funds are quite scarce, because they affect the poorest people in the world. The development speed and cost of mRNA vaccine may change this situation and put an end to these two neglected tropical diseases

however, perhaps the earliest mRNA vaccine on the market is influenza vaccine. Influenza virus causes 290000 to 650000 deaths worldwide every year. “Influenza mRNA vaccines are most likely to come out in the near future.” Whitehead pointed out, “these vaccines have been developed for several years, and the results of clinical trials are quite satisfactory. At present, five clinical trials for influenza A are under way, one of which has started phase II trials.” these vaccines appear at the right time. Paul hunt, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia and a consultant to the who, warned that some countries may have an influenza epidemic, and the death toll may be even higher than the new crown

several pharmaceutical companies are still developing mRNA vaccines and therapies for cancer. Blakney pointed out: “cancer cells often have surface markers that other cells in the body do not have. We can’train’ the immune system so that they can recognize and kill these cells. Just like training the immune system to recognize and kill viruses, we only need to find out what proteins are on the surface of tumor cells, and then develop vaccines on this basis.” The medical concept of “tailor-made” is very attractive, and it is also another door that mRNA opens for us. “In theory, as long as you take out the tumor, sequence it, and find out what is on the surface of the tumor, you can develop a special vaccine for you.”

if the mRNA2.0 version can solve problems such as cancer, AIDS and tropical diseases, can the 3 go further? In the field of modern medicine, antibiotic resistance has become a major concern. Brakni said: “we may be able to develop specific vaccines against Clostridium difficile, or other refractory bacteria antigens.” At present, no clinical trials have been carried out in this field, but frontier And other scientific journals have begun to explore this concept.

in addition, mRNA may also be used in more common commercial health scenarios. Lactose intolerance is one of them. Hundreds of millions of people of Asian descent are affected by lactose intolerance, and the global affected population is as high as 68%. These people lack lactose decomposing protein. We may study it in the future Send out the corresponding mRNA to enable the body to synthesize this protein. Although this problem is not life-threatening, it is enough to form an industry worth billions of dollars.

Dong Yizhou even carried out a successful mouse cholesterol test at Ohio State University. People with high PCSK9 protein content tend to have high cholesterol and are more prone to heart disease. “We noticed that the PCSK9 content in mice decreased by more than 95% after receiving a treatment. This is definitely a very important research direction.” according to Dong Yizhou, at least one biotechnology company is planning to carry out clinical trials to inhibit PCSK9 by mRNA.

this raises the question: can mRNA therapy give us a close relationship “Superhuman” What about immunity? The new crown mRNA vaccine has produced quite high antibody levels in many people and can fight a variety of mutant strains at the same time.

we may also mix a variety of mRNA vaccines to create an enhanced vaccine that can fight cancer and viruses at the same time. Dong Yizhou pointed out that although this is only speculation at present, we may be able to combine a variety of different mRNA vaccines Mix it up and provide the corresponding protein according to your specific needs. Modena and Novavax are already developing the new crown + influenza hybrid vaccine.

but before we go too far, there are still some problems to be solved with the mRNA vaccine. At present, we still need to receive booster needles regularly. After vaccination, our arms will feel pain and sometimes produce side effects such as fatigue. By the end of the year At the time of publication, these vaccines had been in use for less than a year. For every million vaccinated Americans, two to five people will have allergic reactions (but there are no deaths at present) Among them, Pfizer / biontech’s vaccine allergy rate is slightly higher, 4.7 people per million, and Modena’s is 2.5 people per million. However, an analysis points out that although this allergy rate seems to be very low, it is still 11 times higher than the influenza vaccine.

“we are still trying to understand the injection