New product could aid successful production of mRNA therapeutics


Takara Bio has launched PrimeCap T7 RNA Polymerase (low dsRNA), a mutant T7 RNA polymerase suitable for mRNA therapeutic research and development.

PrimeCap T7 RNA Polymerase is a mutant T7 RNA polymerase that has been genetically engineered to maintain high-performance RNA synthesis activity while reducing dsRNA production to less than 10%.

Further genetic modifications have resulted in a four-fold reduction of cap analogue concentration in the IVT reaction whilst maintaining a capping efficiency above 95%, said the company.

“There are currently two main challenges that need to be overcome in the process of in vitro mRNA synthesis: Firstly, the generation of highly immunogenic double stranded RNA during mRNA synthesis constitutes a major safety concern and, unless it can be reduced, represents a barrier to the use of mRNA therapies. Secondly, for in vitro transcribed mRNA to be translated into functional proteins, it must possess a cap structure at the 5’-end,” commented Dr Tarik Hadi, Senior Market Strategy Manager for mRNA Therapeutics at Takara Bio Europe.

He added: “While the use of synthetic cap analogues has proven to be a safe and effective way of adding this cap structure to synthetic mRNAs, their addition can represent up to 80% of the total cost of raw materials in the IVT reaction. We are thrilled to launch this enzyme which will remove both the technical and financial barriers to the successful production of mRNA therapeutics.”

PrimeCap T7 RNA Polymerase is currently available in research grade, however, the company has announced plans to release a GMP version of the enzyme shortly.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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