Poland’s richest man invests in mRNA technology

Michał Sołowow, the country’s wealthiest man, with an estimated net worth of PLN 15 bln (EUR 3.3 bln) invests in ExploRNA, a Polish startup formed by a research group at the University of Warsaw.

“I was convinced to invest in ExploRNA by two outstanding researchers prof. Jacek Jemielity and prof. Jakub Gołąb. Of course mRNA research is conducted all over the world and it is a competitive market”, Sołowow was reported as saying.

The last several months have shown that companies which used messenger RNA technology to develop Covid 19 vaccines were highly successful. “The therapeutic potential of mRNA has been tested over the last 20 years, however the first medication based on mRNA wasn’t approved until December 2 in the United Kingdom: the vaccine against SARS- CoV-2 created by Pfizer and BioNTech”, Prof. Jacek Jemielity, the founder of ExploRNA outlines.

Prof. Jemielity is regarded as one of the leading scientists in this domain and was recently nominated for the “European Inventor Award”

Although the business task at hand is difficult as both the investor and the researchers point out, they believe it is a risk worth taking. The investment will allow ExploRNA to put in place an ambitious research plan with focus on novel usage of mRNA. Scientists are aiming to increase the efficiency of mRNA usage.

mRNA and its usage in vaccine creation

Messenger RNA (mRNA) carries the genetic information in the form of a series of three-base code “words,” each of which specifies a particular amino acid. Recently mRNA technology has been used to produce COVID-19 vaccines, both by Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna. Traditional vaccines contain either weakened viruses or purified signature proteins of the virus. However in THE case of mRNA, a patient receives mRNA – genetic material that encodes the viral protein. Subsequently the viral protein, that doesn’t cause the disease, is produced within one’s body and an immune response against the virus is launched, enabling the person to develop immunity.