Dev Majumdar, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery
(JUNE 22, 2023) Colchester-based Vernal Biosciences is providing labs with reliably consistent mRNA, said Dev Majumdar, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery (who is not affiliated with Vernal), in a VTDigger article on the new company. Vernal’s labs are manufacturing mRNA for research purposes and will soon be gearing up to produce mRNA that can be injected into people for clinical trials, giving Vermont a foothold in an industry concentrated in Boston and California.
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“You want every batch of these mRNAs and liquid nanoparticles to be as similar as possible,” Majumdar said. That consistency of product is something that until now had been made only by the big pharmaceutical companies for internal use. “There was an enormous need for companies to do this, and Christian had the know-how,” Majumdar explained. “And we were just lucky in Vermont that he was willing to start a company here in Vermont because most of this know-how is really isolated in Boston, San Diego, and maybe San Francisco.”
mRNA, or messenger ribonucleic acid, is a molecule that is the key ingredient in the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines; other potential uses of mRNA include helping edit genes that cause disease so they will not work anymore, and developing cancer vaccines.