RNA: teaching the body to manufacture its treatment

The principle, still in its preclinical stage, provides the instructions for use to the cells, which will thus produce the necessary proteins themselves.

Beyond vaccines, RNA could be used as a treatment. “This area is currently at the preclinical stage, explains Bernard Verrier. The results are very promising. ” The principle, again, is quite simple on paper: rather than regularly injecting a drug (hormone, growth factor, etc.), we provide the instructions for use to the cells which will thus produce the proteins themselves. required.

The proof of the correctness of the concept was made in 2012, when Drew Weissman and Katalin Kariko, immunologists at the University of Pennsylvania, succeeded in having mice and monkeys produce the hormone EPO in order to cure them of their anemia. In theory, such treatments are possible in all diseases as long as the treatment involves the use of proteins. “We can therefore perfectly imagine giving the keys to the cells of a diabetic to produce his own insulin., explains Bernard Verrier, specialist in

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