RNA solution for protein solubility inspired by Nature.
Novel Custom RNA-Based Formulations for Solubilizing Therapeutic Proteins.
Antibodies and other proteins represent a multi-billion-dollar medicinal market. However, proteins often have to be administered at high concentrations, which is difficult because proteins tend to aggregate or clump together under these conditions. Protein aggregates limit therapy efficacy and can be a health risk. The main scope of the technology is developing formulations for highly-concentrated therapeutic proteins, including monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, whereby rationally designed RNA oligonucleotides are used to control protein solubility, aggregation, and viscosity in a targeted manner.
To deliver a game-changing technology – RNA-based formulations for biologicals, designed using a novel systematic & rationally based frameworks.
SOLYRNA technology is the result of years of fundamental research on protein-RNA interactions at the University of Vienna / Molecular Biophysics group of Prof. Dr. Bojan Zagrovic.
Currently, the chosen method to dissolve proteins involves a trial-and-error exploration of different formulations, consisting of different excipients such as salts or detergents. There is a great need for more rationally based approaches rooted in fundamental scientific principles when designing antibody/protein formulations, particularly as there can be undesired side effects from these formulations.
RNA technology has come to the forefront since the release of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. RNAs are molecules that are normally found within cells and are important for a number of cellular functions. RNAs are commonly found in association with proteins and, in fact, this is one way that proteins are made soluble within our own cells. These RNA-protein interactions occur in a specific manner, based on the make-up of the RNA and protein molecules in question. RNA molecules are relatively easy to synthesize in a laboratory, and so can be custom-built to match a protein of interest.
The scientists behind this technology have found that using protein-matched RNA can effectively increase the solubility of antibodies and other proteins, increasing the concentration, but also enabling a better control of the viscosity of the solution, making it easier for delivery into organism. Going forward, they can develop new custom-made protein formulations as well as offer a range of RNA formulations that are suitable for certain classes of proteins (e.g. particular antibody types, which contain similar features). The technology is aimed at medically relevant proteins/antibodies, but could be further expanded to any industrial applications that involve protein engineering.
SOLYRNA is the technology invented and developed at the University of Vienna (Austria) by Drs. Anton Polyansky and Bojan Zagrovic. The invention states that RNA molecules may serve as potent, natural solubilizing agents of proteins in a sequence-specific way (“bio excipients”). Furthermore, RNA oligonucleotides, which would increase the solubility of a given protein and pre- vent aggregation, may be rationally designed on the basis of the compositional trends in the mRNA coding region of the protein in question (PCT:WO2021078939A1; National phase: EU & US).
Anton Polyansky presenting SOLYRNA technology during start-up