Celltrion signed a contract with Trilink Biotechnology in the US and started developing a next-generation messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine platform.
Trilink, located in San Diego, USA, is a company that produces mRNA vaccine platforms. It has a unique vector and 3rd generation capping technology (clean cap) essential for mRNA vaccine development. Based on this contract, Trilink plans to produce and supply materials that can proceed with Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials to Celltrion. It provides antigen sequence verification, proprietary capping technology, and mRNA processing technology. Based on this, Celltrion plans to develop a next-generation vaccine that has a preventive effect on COVID-19.
In particular, Celltrion aims to develop a vaccine against various mutations that are currently spreading rather than the existing wild-type COVID-19 virus. It plans to develop a new vector that has not yet been patented and secure the original technology by improving the capping technology. In addition, the company plans to build an mRNA processing facility to independently produce large-scale phase 3 clinical materials. If the mRNA platform is well established this time, it is expected to expand the field of drug development for other diseases such as cancer.
A Celltrion official said, “We will develop a next-generation mRNA vaccine platform that can be applied to viruses that are currently prevalent or that may occur in the future through collaboration with Trilink, which possesses the core technology of mRNA vaccine. We will expand our new drug portfolio by applying it to the development of new drugs in various fields,” he said.
Celltrion is also conducting cell-neutralizing ability and animal efficacy tests against the mutated virus of Recklona (CT-P59), an antibody treatment for COVID-19 that has already been developed. In addition to the existing injectables, the company is collaborating with Inhalon Biopharma, an American bio company that has related technologies and patents to develop Rekkona in inhalation.