A holistic design of next-generation mRNA cancer vaccines: synthesis of the mRNA, formulation of polymeric nanoparticles and in vitro efficacy studies


Escudé Viñals, Laura


The development of cancer vaccines as an immunotherapy is a great promising alternative towards cancer treatments, and, specifically, mRNA-based vaccines are a recently new and appealing approach. However, in order to perform the proper laboratory research and arrive to a preclinical state, some challenges need to be faced; the specificity of the antigen in the cancer cells and the synthesis of mRNA. Although the mRNA can be obtained through a commercial producer, in order to analyze different antigens at the same time and evaluate the efficacy of the system, a platform for its synthesis in the laboratory needs to be optimized and prepared.
This project aims to overcome, at some degree, these challenges. Therefore, first we started with the evaluation of a selected tumor antigen through different qualitative and quantitative techniques. Additionally, this thesis also focuses on the optimization of the mRNA synthesis platform and the evaluation of its functionality. This includes the stabilization of the mRNA molecule, the encapsulation of it through nanoparticles and the further evaluation of its trans-fection in different cell lines. The results obtained represent the basis of the set-up of the mRNA in vitro transcription at IQS laboratories, as well as an in vitro proof-of-concept of its functionality when encapsulated inside polymeric nanoparticles and transfected into model target cells.



Fornaguera Puigvert, Cristina


IQS SE - Undergraduate Program in Biotechnology