Members (see ARPC Team details)
Why RNA therapeutics and technologies?
RNA therapeutics and technologies are poised to change completely the way we prevent and treat diseases. We have already seen the first real glimpse of the future success of this technology with the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccines in the battle against COVID-19.
RNA has a lot more to offer than just vaccines and RNA is not just about mRNA (messenger RNA), but includes other forms of RNA including siRNA, miRNA, gRNA and lncRNA. Drugs based on siRNA to treat genetic disorders are already on the market. In Australia and throughout the world, the development of RNA-based therapies is expanding into new therapeutic targets. Some of the most common targets include cancer, treatment of hereditary /genetic conditions, wound healing and neurogenerative diseases. Vaccines against diseases ranging from mosquito-borne viruses and hep C to HIV and malaria are in various stages of development. And within the agricultural sector, RNA technologies are being explored to make crops more drought and disease resistant, improve animal development and treat or vaccinate animals against various diseases.
The ARPC team was formed in August 2020 by Archa Fox, Thomas Preiss, Pall Thordarson, Damian Purcell, Nigel McMillan and Colin Pouton. In May 2021 the ARPC team was expanded to including biomanufacturing experts Trent Munro and Anton Middelberg.
The ARPC team is certain that Australia would benefit in numerous ways from making significant investment in local RNA research and manufacturing capabilities.
To facilitate this, the team has been actively involved in advising both state and federal governments on various matters relating to RNA therapeutics and technologies. The ARPC is also working with the Australian Academy of Science on organising:
National roundtable to bring together experts to set future priorities for RNA science and research
(see this link here).