Drug Solutions Podcast: A Closer Look at mRNA in Oncology and Vaccines

Published on: 

In this episode fo the Drug Solutions Podcast, etherna’s vice-president of Technology and Innovation, Stefaan De Koker, discusses the merits and challenges of using mRNA as the foundation for therapeutics in oncology as well as for vaccines.

This episode of the Drug Solutions Podcast will explore the technical aspects and advantages of messenger RNA (mRNA) as the basis for therapeutics in cancer treatment as well as vaccines. Based off the success of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, the biopharma industry is responding with enthusiasm and intense focus on the development of mRNA-based therapeutics for diseases. An area of particular challenge is the delivery of the mRNA therapeutic in vivo. Formulation solutions, such as encapsulating the mRNA within a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) structure, has proven effective. Here, Stefaan De Koker, vice-president of Technology and Innovation, etherna, goes into more detail about the benefits and challenges of developing mRNA-based therapeutics for oncology and vaccines, and discusses the practical application of LNPs toward that goal.

About the speaker

Stefaan De Koker, Vice-President Technology and Innovation, etherna

Stefaan De Koker holds a master in Bioengineering and obtained his PhD at the lab for Molecular Immunology at Ghent University. Throughout his career, he has had a keen interest in understanding how activation of the innate immune system shapes the adaptive immune system and in translating this knowledge into improved vaccines and immunotherapies. De Koker became involved early in the messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics field and published seminal papers on the mode-of-action of mRNA vaccines, on the usage of mRNA for intratumoral immunomodulation, and on the development of novel delivery vehicles for mRNA therapeutics. In September 2016, De Kokerjoined ethernawhere he leads the Technology and Innovation team. His focus is currently on the design of customized mRNA lipid-based nanoparticles (cLNPs) for extrahepatic delivery, immunomodulation, and gene editing. De Koker has authored more than 60 publications and is co-inventor on more than 15 patent applications.

About the Drug Solutions Podcast

Pharmaceutical Technology presents the Drug Solutions podcast, where the editors will chat with industry experts from across the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical supply chain. Join us as experts share insights into your biggest questions—from the technologies, to strategies, to regulations related to the development and manufacture of drug products.

Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Apple Podcasts.