The unprecedented speed and success of mRNA vaccines in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the demand for mRNA as a next-generation nucleic acid therapy. Hundreds of ongoing clinical trials are currently testing mRNA across more than 20 disease categories. The current production process, called In Vitro Transcription (IVT), has been successfully scaled up but produces immunostimulatory byproducts such as double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), is limited to shorter mRNA products and requires expensive reagents, including very pure DNA plasmids and proprietary enzymes to catalyze the reactions. Sensible Bio has developed a proprietary system to produce mRNA in living cells. By leveraging natural internal cellular processes combined with synthetic biology and biomimetic approaches, Sensible’s platform aims to produce longer mRNA, free of immunogenic contaminants (such as dsRNA), while enabling the production of mRNA with natural modifications, all key attributes for mRNA therapeutics — while lowering production costs by an order of magnitude.
The mRNA therapeutics market exceeded $40 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $130 billion by 2030. We believe that Sensible Bio’s mRNA production platform could potentially replace today’s In Vitro Transcription method for many applications, especially in mRNA therapeutics that require longer mRNA and higher doses. While the company’s initial focus will be on manufacturing best-in-class mRNA and partnering with biotech companies developing mRNA therapeutics, over time they could potentially integrate mRNA design and delivery systems, creating an end-to-end mRNA platform.