mRNA will be part of a solid landscape in 2023, says Cytiva

Emmanuel Ligner, CEO of Cytiva, predicts mRNA will become a well-proven modality with continued investment in clinical pipelines going beyond COVID.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) made its mark on the biopharma landscape through the success of the COVID-19 vaccines, specifically the approval and rapid commercialization of products from companies including BioNTech and Moderna.

While demand for these vaccines dwindle, the future of mRNA remains is bright, according to Emmanuel Ligner. Ligner, who has served as CEO of Cytiva since 2017, speaks with BioProcess Insider about trends for the upcoming year, and in the first of a two-part article says the modality will play a major role in healthcare in 2023 and beyond.

Emmanuel Ligner, CEO of Cytiva. Image c/o APCO Worldwide.

Not only is mRNA going to expand beyond COVID, but it’s also unlocking other therapeutic approaches such as very accurate gene editing enabled by CRISPR, intracellular antibodies and immuno-oncology,” he says.

Ligner puts forward the idea that mRNA has changed the industry’s landscape, in particular claiming that by using mRNA as a delivery mechanism, a change in the production paradigm is created “and could positively affect the accessibility and cost of some very exciting new therapies.”

Furthermore, with mRNA now being deemed as a validated technology, an increased number of companies are bolstering mRNA capabilities. Because of this, mRNA is a “dynamic market […with]  many factors influencing our business.”

According to Ligner, mRNA will not be fading into the background anytime soon and industry “will continue to see the rise of, and investment in, the clinical pipelines for mRNA, nucleic acid, and gene therapies.” However, he was keen to note that while investment is flowing into new modalities “we are living in an era of ‘and’, where diverse molecules, therapeutic approaches, and accessibility improvements are happening in parallel, and that’s driving better patient care.”

To carry on the momentum associated with mRNA and help fulfil its ambition of becoming a dominant modality, “we must apply our learnings and develop the tools and technologies, particularly around digitalization, that will enable the development and manufacture of these novel therapeutics,” Ligner says.

In the second part of this interview coming next week, Ligner discusses ideas surrounding digitalization and how important it is in today’s industry.