mRNA Covid-19 vaccine

Scientists behind mRNA Covid-19 vaccine awarded Nobel Prize

The scientists who made the breakthroughs which paved the way for the development of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Dr Katalin Kariko and Dr Drew Weissman have been recognised for their work investigating the therapeutic qualities of mRNA – some 15 years before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pair, who met in the late 1990s at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that nucleoside base-modified mRNA could be used to block the activation of inflammatory reactions and increase protein production.

This, in turn, removed the some of the biggest barriers to mRNA being used clinically, and thus laid the foundations for the eventual development of the UK’s first approved Covid-19 vaccine.

The award comes almost three years after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s jab.

MHRA’s chief executive, Dr June Raine, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic affected each and every one of us, but through scientific and regulatory innovation and collaboration, we brought effective and very safe vaccines to the UK and came through it together.”

She continued: “Today, the world congratulates Dr Katalin Kariko and Dr Drew Weissman, who have deservedly received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for the development of the technology behind the vaccines that continue to keep millions of people safe around the world.

“We’ve all learned what’s possible when we apply the collective strength of the brilliant life sciences sector, and agile, enabling regulation, to our common goal of providing the best benefit risk balance and health outcomes for patients and the public.”

Image credit: iStock

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all