Self-replicating RNA for mRNA vaccine development

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2024; 10(5), 611–629

DOI: 10.18609/cgti.2024.074

Published: 3 June
Kenneth Lundstrom

Although mRNA-based vaccines have been studied since the 1990s, the success seen for mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines presented a major boost for the whole field. Much attention has been paid to improving the stability and delivery of mRNA by structural and chemical modifications and the engineering of lipid and polymer nanoparticles. Other delivery systems including gene gun technology, carbon nanotubes, and the application of dendritic cells have been evaluated. Moreover, self-replicating RNA viruses have been applied for enhanced mRNA delivery. Here, the vaccine development of conventional synthetic mRNA and self-replicating RNA is described resulting in induced immune responses, therapeutic efficacy, and protection against infectious diseases and various types of cancers. A comparison of conventional mRNA and self-replicating RNA approaches is presented.