Team of Polish scientists receive EUR 15 mln for mRNA research

More than EUR 15 mln will be allocated to a team of scientists that will conduct a project meant to develop new methods of therapy using mRNA technology. This has been decided as part of the first competition of the Virtual Research Institute (WIB).

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The completion of the first competition for the selection of research teams conducting scientific activity in the form of the Virtual Research Institute in the area of medical biotechnology - oncology was announced by Łukasiewicz Research Network - PORT Polish Center for Technology Development.

An international panel of experts has recommended funding for the project “Horizon of excellence in mRNA applications in immuno-Oncology [HERO].” The task will be carried out by a team of scientists from the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, the University of Warsaw, the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Medical University of Warsaw.

A press release informed that the primary objective of the research, carried out under the direction of the team leader, Prof. Andrzej Dziembowski, is the development of a highly effective therapeutic mRNA technology and its application in cancer immunotherapy.

“The project has won recognition from experts primarily due to its high scientific value and the accompanying high commercialisation potential of the results expected from the research. The experts emphasised the great interest of the pharmaceutical industry in mRNA technology, which is currently one of the most innovative directions of development in the pharmaceutical industry,” the press release reads.

The total pool of funds available in the competition is nearly EUR 100 mln.

WIB is a programme that finances research with high commercialisation potential in one of the key areas for society, which is medical biotechnology - oncology. It was established by a piece of legislation introduced in April 2019 on supporting scientific activity from the Fund for Polish Science. The programme is addressed to the most outstanding and talented Polish scientists conducting activities at the highest world level - representatives of universities and research institutes.

The goal for the winning team of scientists is to develop new technologies that have a high chance of commercialisation and implementation within a maximum of five years from the start of the project.