BioNTech sets sights on oral mRNA vaccines with deal to access Matinas delivery technology

Posted on : Wednesday , 13th April 2022

BioNTech has reached an agreement to investigate the oral delivery of mRNA vaccines. The German mRNA  

specialist will investigate the potential for a lipid nanocrystal (LNC) platform to enable new vaccine formulations  

in collaboration with Matinas BioPharma.


BioNTech was thrust into the biotech big leagues by the pandemic, as the vaccine it found and produced with Pfizer  

became a cornerstone of COVID-19 vaccination programmes around the world. BioNTech has recognised Matinas  

as a company that can assist it grow a business beyond the Comirnaty windfall from this position of strength.


BioNTech is paying $2.75 million for exclusive access to Matinas' LNC technology for the delivery of mRNA  

vaccines, as well as funding some of the collaboration's research expenses. A prospective licencing arrangement is  

now being discussed.


BioNTech will be able to examine the platform's potential utility for its mRNA vaccines as a result of the agreement.  

Matinas licenced the platform from Rutgers University to enable the targeted intracellular delivery of a variety of  

compounds, including mRNA. Matinas also has an LNC agreement with Genentech.


The stability of LNC structures has potentially major consequences in the context of mRNA vaccines. The highly  

stable structure, according to Matinas, "allows for the avoidance of extreme cold chain storage temperatures  

essential for maintaining the integrity of [lipid nanoparticles]," such as those utilised in Comirnaty administration.  

The COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech is stored at -90°C to -60°C.


Although the pandemic has already boosted availability to ultracold chain freezers, if the LNC platform can enable  

mRNA vaccines to be held at higher temperatures, it will be easier to transfer the products to people in the  

developing countries.


Oral administration is also possible thanks to the LNC structure's stability. BioNTech wants to see if the platform  

can open up a new route of delivery for mRNA vaccines. Matinas is already utilising it to enable oral  

administration of its own molecules, and BioNTech wants to see if it can open up a new method of delivery for  

mRNA vaccines.

Source :




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