Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has signed a master research collaboration agreement with RVAC Medicines, an mRNA platform firm, to develop capabilities to produce mRNA vaccines in the country.
The two parties will set up a joint laboratory at the government agency’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) to develop a preclinical manufacturing platform for producing new raw materials and clinical-grade assets.
They will then be utilized for manufacturing mRNA vaccines and therapeutics to treat infectious diseases as well as other conditions with unfulfilled needs.
In a joint press release, A*Star and RVAC stated that the collaboration would seek to allow global manufacturers and local ecosystem innovators access to a manufacturing platform and assist in the development of preclinical assets.
They further stated that the partnership would leverage the deep expertise of BTI in analytical sciences and processing technologies for biotherapeutics, as well as A*Star's strong translational research in biomedical technologies across its various research institutes.
The collaboration will also use RVAC’s extensive competence in mRNA, drug delivery, and vaccine technologies and expertise in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, R&D, clinical development, and commercialization.
RVAC, founded in June last year with offices in Singapore, Shanghai, and Boston, develops mRNA-based vaccines for infectious diseases, including the coronavirus, and was incubated by CBC Group, a healthcare asset management firm headquartered in Singapore.
The firm’s team comprises over 80 scientists and industry veterans.
Dr. Sean Fu, CEO of RVAC, claimed that with A*Star’s experience and knowledge, the partnership carried the promise of advancing mRNA as a new class of medicines.
Prof. Ng Huck Hui, Assistant CEO at A*Star’s Biomedical Research Council, commented that public-private partnerships were major enablers in converting science into impact.
He stated that combining the Agency’s multidisciplinary R&D capabilities in protein engineering, analytics, AI, and infectious diseases with RVAC’s know-how would further boost the development of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, leading to better outcomes for Singapore as well as the world.