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Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently confirmed that the company has been working with leading clinical state biotechnology company CureVac in Germany. CureVac is developing an mRNA-based vaccine against the Covid-19 virus.
Biotech company CureVac has been working on an mRNA-based vaccine against Covid-19 since early January 2020. Later that month, the CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) foundation granted CureVac additional initial funding to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and clinical tests for its mRNA-based vaccine.
A critical step in the production of RNA is the creation of a suitable DNA template, which on an industrial scale is a major cost factor. Production processes are time-consuming, costly, and require a lot of laboratory space and laboratory equipment. That is why it is very important to automate this process.
It has now become known that Tesla filed a joint patent with CureVac 'Bioreactor for RNA in vitro transcription'. The patent describes bioreactor for RNA in vitro transcription, which can automate the production of RNA.
An advantage of an improved bioreactor may be that it may allow for repetitive use of DNA templates in several RNA production processes which reduces the costs as less starting material (that is DNA template) has to be used and DNAse treatment can be omitted or substantially minimized.
Moreover, an improved bioreactor may allow for the robust production of RNA with a higher purity profile (no residual DNAse, no residual DNA fragments in final RNA product). The advantages of an automated apparatus for RNA production are that the whole manufacturing process may be more robust and reliable (due to minimizing human error) and that the production of RNA may be accelerated.
Figure 1 shows a schematic view of a bioreactor.
This joint invention should help CureVac significantly reduce RNA production time and improve its quality, which is incredibly important in the search for a vaccine against Covid-19.
CureVac Tesla contract affiliate RNA Bioreactor pic.twitter.com/8bnOIhhQdM— K10✨©️ (@Kristennetten) July 2, 2020
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.