Flagship Pioneering unveils eRNA platform from Laronde

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

May 10, 2021 -- Flagship Pioneering unveiled its Laronde platform for the development of endless RNA (eRNA), a novel, engineered form of RNA that can be programmed to express therapeutic proteins inside the body. The company has initially committed $50 million to support the development of the platform and initial pipeline medicines.

The eRNA technology was created at Flagship Labs by Avak Kahvejian, PhD, a Flagship Pioneering general partner and CEO of Laronde, a company that was developed within Flagship Labs.

In 2017, the Laronde team began exploring the therapeutic potential of long noncoding RNA within mammalian cells, which led to the invention of eRNA. These closed-loop RNA constructs are recognized by the innate immune system or exonuclease enzymes and are modular and programmable. The eRNA "protein-coding cassettes" can be switched to make different peptides, enzymes, antibodies, channels, and receptors, both inside and outside of cells.

Laronde plans to build a modular and scalable eRNA manufacturing facility to accommodate the clinical and commercial manufacture of up to 100 products and drug programs in the next 10 years. The company expects to hire more than 200 people over the next two years to support the advancement of its programs and platform.

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