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Testbed for Improving Productivity and Quality of mRNA Vaccines

The goal of this project is to develop an innovative and efficient purification method for production of mRNA vaccines.

Industry Need

  • Industries producing mRNA vaccine technology must be prepared to respond rapidly and effectively to future pandemics 
  • Such a rapid response could be facilitated by more readily available infrastructure and methodologies for production and characterization of RNA products 


In this project, NC State University will: 

  1. Develop an in-situ mRNA product recovery downstream process based on a simulated moving bed (SMB) approach, using affinity chromatography supports. 
  2. Create a testbed that includes production and purification of RNA using in vitro transcription reactions, purification of mRNA using affinity chromatography, and characterization of the final product.  
  3. Create materials for hands-on and online training related to the process and the testbed, which can serve as the basis for professional and academic training programs. 

Outcomes and Impacts

Will enable improved methods for the routine production and analysis of mRNA vaccine products, which will play a critical role in global pandemic preparedness and response

Provide a new method for in situ product recovery which will reduce costs, increase production efficiency, and alleviate supply chain issues

Help study the effect of novel uridine chemistries and reaction conditions to optimize the synthetic rate and minimize the side products associated with the in vivo translation process

Set the stage for further studies on potential avenues for continuous mRNA vaccine manufacturing

Updates, Related Publications, and Deliverables

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Project Lead

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University