mRNA Process and Cost Modeling: A Tool to Optimize Process Development

The COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the impact that mRNA technology can have on rapid drug development. mRNA is an attractive modality to work with because of its relative simplicity compared to other biologics; it is wholly synthetic and does not require cellular materials. Demand for mRNA-based medicine production in lower income countries continues to increase, as do investments in prophylactic and therapeutic indications such as infectious diseases and cancer. We developed a cost-model to compare all modalities such as virus-like particles, viral vectors, and mRNA, which enables decision making on production scale and plant sizing. This poster highlights several aspects of the cost-modelling work, such as the distribution of costs, cost per vaccine dose, and proposes various scenarios to meet forecasted mRNA demand.