Evonik Increases Global Supply of Pharma-Grade Plant-Derived Cholesterol for mRNA Vaccines and Gene Therapies

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Evonik has increased its global supply of plant-derived cholesterol used for mRNA vaccines and gene therapies.

Evonik, a specialty chemical company based in Essen, Germany, has increased its supply of plant-derived cholesterol, a crucial component for the manufacturing of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and gene therapies. The production of the cholesterol will meet the increased market demand as it is used in COVID-19 vaccines.

Plant-derived cholesterol is an essential excipient for the lipid-based delivery of large molecules such as mRNA as well as other gene therapies, such as cancer immunotherapy, according to the company. The benefit of using plant-derived cholesterol is the minimized risk of undesired immunological responses and inconsistent quality, which are possible risks when using animal-derived cholesterol.

Evonik’s increased manufacturing capacities for the cholesterol will support the growth of its portfolio of system solutions for advanced drug delivery.


“As one of the few suppliers of high-quality, non-animal-derived cholesterol for the pharmaceutical industry, we are proud to provide innovators with a critical excipient for a wide range of innovative nucleic acid therapeutics,” said Dr. Thomas Riermeier, head of Evonik’s Health Care business line, in a press release. “Increasing our supply of PhytoChol is a timely step to further fuel the development of mRNA and gene therapies as well as biopharmaceutical cell culture applications.”

Source: Evonik