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YonHap: GreenLight in mRNA deal with Samsung Biologics

Greenlight Biosciences’ deal with Samsung Biologics to establish a one-stop production capability for manufacturing messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines was reported by Yonhap News Agency.

Samsung has completed the addition of the new mRNA vaccine substance production capability at its plant in Songdo, Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, and began producing drug substances for COVID-19 vaccines of GreenLight Biosciences Inc. of the United States late last month.

Samsung Biologics, a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), signed a drug substance supply agreement with the American biotech company last year

Read the full article here.

You can read more about our deal with Samsung Biologics in this article by BioProcess.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA.

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GreenLight’s honeybee-saving RNA solution named finalist in World Changing Ideas Award

BOSTON, May 10, 2022—An RNA-based solution by GreenLight Biosciences designed to protect honeybees from the Varroa destructor mite was named a finalist by Fast Company for its 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.

This is the first RNA-based solution that directly targets the mites, which have been detected in 90% of U.S. hives and which beekeepers call the primary threat to honeybee colonies today. In field trials, the solution lowers mite levels with strong efficacy compared to a leading chemical pest control.

“The technology at GreenLight, we’re testing it now, and we’ve seen it work,” said Barry Hart, owner of Hart Honey Farms in Georgia. A beekeeper since 1985, Hart said Varroa mites have decimated many of his hives.

GreenLight’s Varroa mite product candidate is currently undergoing tests in several states and is scheduled to be submitted for EPA approval in 2022.

About 3 million commercial honeybee colonies in the United States contribute to pollinating more than 100 crops annually, worth an estimated $15 billion. The Varroa mite reproduces in the same beehive cells as gestating bee larvae, grows up to parasitically feed on honeybees, and while doing so spreads disease, destroying colonies across the globe.

A limited number of chemical treatments are the current weapons in the fight against the Varroa mite. However, the traditional treatments come with side effects that may include bee death. Varroa mites have also developed resistance to several existing traditional chemical pesticides, which also require farmers to wear special protective gear and goggles to apply. GreenLight’s patented RNA technology only requires gloves.

“Crops pollinated by honeybees make up roughly a third of the food eaten by Americans, so declining populations of honeybees could have major consequences for food supply,” said Andrey Zarur, CEO of GreenLight Biosciences. “Our mission is to protect the species safely and effectively, and we are excited by Fast Company’s recognition for our achievements.”

GreenLight and other Fast Company nominees and award winners can be found here.

About GreenLight Biosciences

GreenLight Biosciences aims to address some of the world’s biggest problems by delivering on the full potential of RNA for human health and agriculture. Our RNA platform allows us to research, design, and manufacture for human, animal, and plant health. In human health, this includes messenger RNA vaccines and therapeutics. In agriculture, this includes RNA to protect honeybees and a range of crops. The company’s platform is protected by numerous patents. GreenLight’s human health product candidates are in the pre-clinical stage, and its product candidates for the agriculture market are in the early stages of development or regulatory review. GreenLight is a public benefit corporation that trades under the ticker GRNA on Nasdaq. For more information, visit https://www.greenlightbiosciences.com/

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EndPoints: Q&A with GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur

GreenLight Biosciences CEO, Andrey Zarur, is interviewed by Endpoints News.

He outlines how he is determined not to repeat the mistakes from the last pandemic and speaks about GreenLight’s latest deal with the Serum Institute.

Can you talk to me about how you’ve identified the shingles vaccine as a key area of focus?

[Shingles] can be dangerous and is extraordinary painful. [A shingles vaccine] is a huge unmet need, there are billions of people who are at risk of shingles who don’t have a solution, and of course there is no established business model. So we’re focused on a major need that’s likely to affect everybody over the age of 60.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA.

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BioCentury: GreenLight messenger RNA shingles vaccine deal with Serum Institute of India

Agreement to manufacture and commercialize a messenger RNA shingles vaccine and two other RNA products.

There is a high need for shingles vaccines in low- and middle- income countries where most people have not been vaccinated against chickenpox. Shingles is caused by reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox; vaccination against chickenpox greatly reduces the risk of shingles.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA.

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Endpoints: GreenLight licenses mRNA shingles vaccine

“GreenLight’s approach resonates with our mission to make healthcare equitable for all,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a statement. “Messenger RNA technology will play a key role in reducing the burden of human suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases across LMICs.”

There is an option to expand the license to two additional vaccines or therapies to be named later, GreenLight said in a release, and the shingles vaccine manufacturing process will be transferred to the SII facility in Pune, India.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA.

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Unherd: Should Big Pharma be destroyed?

GreenLight Biosciences is featured in Unherd magazine on the need for smaller, more innovative companies to help roll out Covid vaccines to the rest of the world.

Credit: Unherd/Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty

Andrey Zarur, the CEO of the biotech firm GreenLight, who are producing their own mRNA vaccine for Covid at the moment, comes at the whole thing from a different angle“Pfizer was not designed to make low-cost therapeutics available to every corner of the world,” he says: it’s a 150-year-old company with settled investors and a particular way of working.

He compares it to Apple. “You have a $1,000 iPhone 13,” he says. “Who’s that designed for? My children. Idiot teenagers with rich parents.” Poorer countries need smartphones too, but the solution is not to force Apple to sell smartphones to Ethiopia at a discount. “What you need is an innovative company with different processes.” Instead of demanding changes from 150-year-old companies that are very good at the specific things they do, create smaller, newer companies which do the thing you want. “There’s six billion people in the developing world,” says Zarur. “You should be able to figure out a way to turn a reasonable profit with reasonably priced drugs.”

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA.

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Endpoints News: Samsung Biologics takes on manufacturing duties for GreenLight’s Covid-19 vaccine

GreenLight Biosciences’ deal with Samsung is featured in Endpoints News for its deal with Samsung to manufacture mRNA Covid-19 vaccine at a commercial scale

GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur is quoted as saying “There is an urgent need to develop vaccines for the whole world.” An extract from the article is below.

The company was founded in 2008 to use its mRNA technology to protect both humans and agriculture, including honeybees and crops. It was virtually unknown before the merger. Now, the company is looking to set up a blueprint for vaccinating the world from Covid-19, and hopes to do so through improved mRNA manufacturing capabilities. It’s been working on seasonal flu and sickle cell disease vaccines as well, but it got its start while trying to shake up the pesticides market for industrial agriculture.

“There is an urgent need to develop vaccines for the whole world,” GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur said in a press release. “Our vaccine trial will open the way to make vaccines that are available to everybody, not just citizens of developed countries.”

There are currently three plants at the Samsung Songdo campus. A fourth is on the way, and the CDMO just got approved to build a fifth in November.

Read the full article here.

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A tractor harvests in a potato field with farmers working alongside it

ACS book chapter details GreenLight’s progress in the development of dsRNA solutions

Agricultural pests are responsible for more than $100 billion in global crop losses each year. Meanwhile, the amount of arable land for farming is shrinking and traditional pesticides currently in the market are losing their efficacy. 

To secure a sustainable food supply for future generations, GreenLight is working on RNA-based agricultural solutions that are designed to affect the target pest and limit harm to any non-targeted organisms. In Crop Protection Products for Sustainable Agriculture, a new American Chemical Society book about crop protection innovation, a GreenLight team, led by Ken Narva and Thais Rodrigues,  shares the science behind sprayable dsRNA as a new mode of action plant health product that has shown efficacy comparable to market standards and fits integrated pest management systems. 

This product is intended for large-acre control of the Colorado potato beetle and has been shown to be effective at extremely low use rates. A challenge to wide-scale use of dsRNA is the cost-effective production of large quantities for field applications, which GreenLight has overcome with its cell-free process to manufacture high-quality dsRNA faster, on a larger scale, and much more inexpensively than traditional methods.

Successful registration of this solution will pave the way for additional dsRNA products for agricultural pest control, providing growers with biological alternatives to synthetic insecticides.

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Biospace: Why we need to develop new Covid vaccines

GreenLight Biosciences features in Biospace on the need to develop new Covid vaccines.

Credit: BioSpace/Meissa Vaccines

Andrey Zarur, Co-founder and CEO of GreenLight Biosciences, speaks to Biospace about the need to develop new Covid vaccines and the innovations and learnings GreenLight have made along the way. Extracts from the article are below.

Andrey Zarur, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of GreenLight Biosciences, acknowledged the dire nature of the virus but also stressed another aspect. “We’re a family. We need to care for one another. We have a responsibility to make technological advancements available to everyone,” he said, noting low vaccination rates throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. It’s also a matter of self-preservation, he explained. “If a large portion of the global population isn’t vaccinated, people get infected. Then the virus mutates and comes back to us.”…

GreenLight also is taking a newer approach, focusing on improved mRNA vaccines and more scalable manufacturing. As Zarur said of mRNA vaccines, “we’ve learned what works and doesn’t work,” and so have the opportunity to use those learnings to make mRNA vaccines “more stable, more efficient and better in general.” The mRNA vaccine being developed by GreenLight isn’t yet in clinical trials, he said.

At a single dose, Zarur said, “we’re achieving titers of neutralization antibodies and activation of T cells that are comparable with data from approved vaccines.” GreenLight plans to begin a Phase I clinical study in South Africa in Q1 2022 to determine whether those results will translate to humans.

For any of these vaccines to gain traction in developing regions (where refrigeration may not be reliable), temperature stability will be an issue. GreenLight is working toward that goal with several different lipid nanoparticles, some of which are stable at room or refrigerated temperatures.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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a fruit covered in mould with a WIRED graphic in front

Wired: The Next Big Thing for RNA

Credit: Wired/PAUL STAROSTA/GETTY IMAGES

Mark Singleton, Head of Plant and Animal Health at GreenLight Biosciences, speaks to Wired magazine about the potential of RNA to fix moldy food by defending against Botrytis and other pests. Extracts from the article are below:

“It’s the big one,” says Mark Singleton, head of plant and animal health at GreenLight Biosciences, a Massachusetts-based biotech startup working on a new generation of sprays to defend against Botrytis and other pests that bedevil farmers…

GreenLight Biosciences has an RNA spray targeting the Colorado potato beetle that’s currently being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The company is expecting a decision on that spray by the middle of 2022. It’s also working on a spray for Botrytis, as well as one that combats the Varroa mite, a widespread pest that infects honey bees. After initial laboratory trials, GreenLight is now field testing its Botrytis spray on grapes in California and strawberries in Italy. Singleton says they’re looking to find out how long the spray sticks to plants and how it compares to chemical fungicides.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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A GreenLight scientist pipettes liquid on a bench

The Washington Post: GreenLight plans to launch a clinical trial in Africa next year

The Washington Post reports on GreenLight Biosciences’ plans to launch a clinical trial in Africa next year.

The Washington Post reports on vaccines in Africa and mentions GreenLight Bioscience’s plans to launch a clinical trial in Africa next year. An extract is below:

GreenLight Biosciences, a start-up company that has been making RNA for agricultural applications, is working toward making mRNA vaccines with a different manufacturing process that could be easier to scale up. GreenLight plans to launch a clinical trial in Africa next year.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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a scientist in a clean suit works on a GreenLight bench

Business Insider: COVID-19 vaccines sparks expansion of RNA research

Business Insider reports on GreenLight Bioscience’s plans to expand its RNA research work, including to include human therapeutics. An extract from the article is below:

For instance, GreenLight Biosciences expanded its mRNA work last year from focusing on pesticide alternatives to include human therapeutics. Now, GreenLight is riding the mRNA hype to a public debut, agreeing to a $1.2 billion special-purpose acquisition company deal in August.

“GreenLight aims to solve some of the world’s biggest problems with RNA, from affordable vaccines and therapies to protecting honeybees,” GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur said in a statement, adding that clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine were scheduled to begin next year.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.

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