The nucleic acid therapeutics (NAT) market is undergoing
rapid development and showing high growth potential. While challenges remain in
applying NAT beyond rare genetic diseases, NAT is widely expected to
revolutionise and accelerate drug discovery and development. It also has the
potential to greatly expand the range of potential therapeutic targets beyond
proteins to target RNA. In addition, NAT offers the potential for rapid
development of personalised treatment and vaccines. These features were
dramatically demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic by the speed at which
vaccines were developed and approved for use to respond to new viral variants.
The award of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Dr Katalin
Karikó and Dr Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base
modifications which enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against
COVID-19 is further testament to this powerful form of therapeutics.