Evonik to develop new drug delivery platform for mRNA

Evonik is working with Stanford University on a technology to deliver mRNA to tissues and organs that goes beyond the capabilities of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). Starting in June 2021, Evonik and Stanford scientists begin a three-year sponsored research collaboration to develop the polymer-based drug delivery system, which Evonik will license and commercialise.

“We are proud to collaborate with Stanford University and combine our innovative power in advanced drug delivery. Through this project we look forward to enabling the next generation of mRNA-based medicine,” said Dr. Thomas Riermeier, head of Evonik’s Health Care business line.

The delivery of mRNA effectively and safely into the cell is one of the biggest challenges for expanding the use of mRNA therapeutics to promising fields such as cancer immunotherapy, protein replacement and gene editing. Evonik’s accessible market for LNP-based delivery systems alone is estimated to be more than US$5 billion by 2026.

“If we are to harness the full potential of mRNA therapeutics, we will need a toolbox of drug delivery technologies to target an expanded range of tissues and organs. Therefore, it is a great pleasure to collaborate with Stanford University and bring our expertise in advanced drug delivery to commercialize the new platform,” said Dr. Stefan Randl, Vice President of Research, Development & Innovation for Evonik Health Care.

Evonik will work together with Stanford University scientists to scale up the synthesis and formulation, and further develop this innovative technology for organ selective delivery based on a non-animal-derived, synthetic degradable polymer. As one of the few integrated development and manufacturing partners for gene therapies, Evonik aims to make this technology available in GMP quality (Good Manufacturing Practice) for use in clinical-stage developments and ultimately on a commercial scale.

The new polymer-based delivery platform, known as CART (Charge Altering Releasable Transporters), was developed by Professor Robert Waymouth, Professor Paul Wender and Professor Ronald Levy of Stanford University.

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