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Technology Abstract

RNA Solution for Protein Solubility

Novel Custom RNA-Based Formulations for Solubilizing Therapeutic Proteins

Antibodies and other proteins are 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. This technology uses a novel RNA formulation approach to dissolve proteins at high concentration and prevent their aggregation.

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Currently, the chosen method to dissolve proteins involves somewhat randomly trying different formulations, consisting of various salt compositions and/or detergents. There is a great need for more scientific rationale 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 molecule. 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 protein solubility, increasing the concentration but also better controlling 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. for antibodies, which contain similar features). The technology is aimed at medically relevant proteins/antibodies but could be further expanded to any industry that involves protein engineering, such as in the food industry.

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