RNA

RNA: timeline of key events

Ochoa was a biochemist and molecular biologist whose research was devoted to understanding enzymes and their role in intermediary metabolism. He was one of the first scientists to show the pivotal role of high energy phosphates, like adenosine triphosphate, in the storage and release of energy. During this work he discovered the enzyme polynucleotide phosphorylase, which plays an important role in the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA). This enzyme provided the foundation for the subsequent synthesis of artificial RNA and the breaking of the human genetic code. Ochoa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1959 for his work on the biological synthesis of RNA.1905-09-24T00:00:00+0000Pirie was a virus physiologist and biochemist. He helped determine that the genetic component of viruses is RNA. Before this viruses were thought to be made up completely of proteins. During World War II he explored the possibility of extracting edible proteins from leaves, research that he carried on into the 1970s. His experiments were directed towards solving the food problem posed by the growing world population. He hoped to replace the inefficient method of feeding animals to secure protein for the diet.1907-07-01T00:00:00+0000Stein was a biochemist who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for contributing to understanding the composition and functioning of ribonuclease, an enzyme that catalyses the break down of RNA into smaller components. It was the first structure and sequence worked out for any enzyme. Stein carried out the work with his colleague Stanford Moore in 1963. The two scientists were aided by their invention of the first means for automated amino acid analysis. In addition to his work on ribonuclease, Stein showed how proteins that are comprised of the same amino acids can have very different characteristics and functions. 1911-06-25T00:00:00+0000Zamecnik pioneered the in vitro synthesis of proteins and helped determine the way cells generate proteins. Together with Mahlon Hoagland and Mary Stephenson he showed that protein synthesis was activated by adenosine 5'-triphosphate and that ribosomes were the site of protein assembly. He also subsequently helped to discover transfer RNA and is credited with laying the foundation for the development of antisense therapies, a type of gene therapy. 1912-11-22T00:00:00+0000Anfinsen was a biochemist who spent his career studying the relationships between structure and function in proteins. He is best known for his studies of ribonuclease, a type of nuclease that catalyses the degradation of RNA into smaller components. In 1972 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work 'on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation.' 1916-03-26T00:00:00+0000Kornberg was a biochemist renowned for his research on enzymes which create DNA. In 1956 he and his team isolated the first enzyme known to be involved in the replication of DNA. It would be called DNA polymerase I. For this work Kornberg shared the 1959 Nobel Prize for Medicine. The Prize was given for the discovery of the 'mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid.'1918-03-03T00:00:00+0000Monod was a biochemist who, together with Francois Jacob, worked out the genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis based on their experiments with Escherichia coli in the early 1960s. They proposed that a messenger molecule in cells carries codes from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the site of protein synthesis in the cell's cytoplasm. This molecule was later called messenger RNA which is now the basis of COVID-19 vaccines. Based on his work Monrod was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1965. 1920-06-07T00:00:00+0000Holley was a biochemist who shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Medicine for explaining how the genetic code controls the synthesis of proteins. This stemmed from his research on RNA which he began in the late 1940s. By 1960 and he and collaborators showed that amino acids were assembled into proteins by transfer RNAs (tRNAs). In 1965 he managed to determine the composition of a tRNA that incorporates the amino acid alanine into protein molecules. 1922-01-28T00:00:00+0000A molecular biologist, Smith was a key pioneer in nucleic acid research. One of the few to realise the importance of nucleic acids before Watson and Crick uncovered the structure of DNA in 1953, Smith helped to elucidate the structure of ribonucleic acid molecules (RNA), the genetic material of many plant and animal viruses. This was helped by his development of paper chromatographic methods for analysing nucleosides and other units which make up DNA. He also helped to discover rare and unexpected modifications of DNA bases in bacterial genomes which are now understood to prevent attack from DNA viruses. 1924-12-08T00:00:00+0000A chemist and biophysicist, Klug won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of crystallographic electron microscopy. He used the technique to investigate nucleic acid-protein complexes and the structure of viruses. He developed an interest in viruses after meeting Rosalind Franklin in late 1953. Klug also discovered zinc-finger proteins, a class of proteins that bind specific DNA sequences. Scientists now use the modular nature of these proteins to design synthetic proteins for targeted therapies. Klug went to South Africa with his Jewish parents when he was two and then settled in England after completing his master's degree. Klug was the director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1986-1996) and President of the Royal Society (1995-2000). 1926-08-11T00:00:00+0000Gilbert is a molecular biologist. He was involved in some of the early efforts to pioneer techniques for determining base sequences in nucleic acids, known known as DNA sequencing, for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1980. He was the first scientist to propose the existence of intron and exons. In 1986 Gilbert became a proponent of the theory that the first forms of life evolved out of replicating RNA molecules. The same year he began campaigning to set up the Human Genome Project. He was also a co-founder and the first Chief Executive Officer of Biogen, a biotechnology company originally set up to commercialise genetic engineering.1932-03-21T00:00:00+0000Altman was a molecular biologist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for discovering the catalytic properties of RNA. This emerged out of some work Altman carried out between 1978 and 1983 on a bacterial enzyme called RNAs-P. His research helped transform the basic understanding of nuclear acids, which up to this moment had been understood to only carry genetic information. It also opened up the possibility of using genetic engineering to develop new forms of therapy against viral infections. 1939-05-07T00:00:00+0000Yonath is a biochemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 for helping to map the structure of ribosomes, the molecule that helps translate RNA into protein. She started the research in the 1970s using x-ray crystallography. By 2001 she had worked out the complete high-resolution of structures of both ribosomal subunits and discovered a region important to the process of polypeptide polymerisation. In addition to this work Yonath had elucidated the modes of action of over 20 different antibiotics that target the ribosome, which has provided insights into the mechanisms of drug resistance and antibiotic sensitivity. 1939-06-22T00:00:00+0000Steitz is a biochemist and biophysicist who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for elucidating the atomic structure and function of ribosomes, tiny particles made up of RNA and proteins involved in protein synthesis. He and colleagues determined this in 2000 using x-ray crystallography. The work opened up a new pathway to the discovery and development of new classes of antibiotics. 1940-08-23T00:00:00+0000Sharp is a geneticist and molecular biologist. He shared the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of RNA splicing. This was awarded on the back of some research he did in 1977 which showed that RNA can be divided up into introns and exons, after which the exons can be joined together. This process can happen in different ways. It provides the means for the gene to form a number of different proteins. Sharp also co-founded Biogen, set up in 1978, and helped found Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Magen Biosciences.1944-06-06T00:00:00+0000Kornberg is a biochemist whose research is focused on working out the mechanism and regulation of transcription, which is the first step in the pathway of gene expression. In 2006 he won the Nobel Prize for working out the protein pathway that a cell's genetic information takes when transferred to a new cell. He showed how information is carried from the genes and converted to molecules called messenger ribonucleic acid (RNA). This he worked out by mapping out the process in yeast. Kornberg was the first to work out how transcription works at a molecular level in eukaryotes, a group of organisms, including humans, whose cells have a well-defined nucleus. 1947-04-24T00:00:00+0000Cech is a chemist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA. This was based on his investigation of splicing RNA in Tetrahymena thermophila, a unicellular organism, during the 1970s. He discovered that unprocessed RNA molecules could splice themselves and showed that RNA molecules are not restricted to being passive carriers of genetic information. 1947-12-08T00:00:00+0000Ribonuclease is a small protein that helps to break down RNA. It was one of the first proteins to be separated with column chromatography. The work was published in AJP Martin, RR Porter (July 1951), ‘The chromatographic fractionation of ribonuclease’, The Biochemical Journal, 49/2, 215-8.1951-07-01T00:00:00+0000Szotak is a biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for helping to discover how chromosomes are protected by telomeres, a section of DNA at the end of a chromosome. He is also known for having constructed the world's first yeast artificial chromosome, a breakthrough that has helped scientists to map the location of genes in mammals and develop techniques for mapping genes. Szotak is also responsible for the development of a technique known as in vitro evolution of RNA which makes it possible to discover RNAs with desired functions. 1952-11-09T00:00:00+0000The discovery was made by Paul C. Zamecnik with his colleagues Mahlon Hoagland and Mary Stephenson. tRNA is essential to protein synthesis. The molecule helps shuttle amino acids to the ribosome, the cell's protein factory. The work was subsequently published in MB Hoagland, ML Stephenson, JF Scott, ML Stephenson, LI Hecht, PC Zamecnik, 'A soluble ribonucleic acid intermediate in protein synthesis', Journal Biological Chemistry, 231 (1958), 241-57. 1956-01-01T00:00:00+0000The molecule was first observed by the American scientists Elliot Volkin and Lazarus Astrachan in experiments conducted with bacteriophage-infected Escherichia coli. Calling the new molecule 'DNA-like RNA', Volkin and Astrachan published their finding in 'Phosphorus incorporation in Escherichia coli ribonucleic acid after infection with bacteriophage T2', Virology, 2 (1956), 149-61. 1956-01-17T00:00:00+0000Fire is a biologist, pathologist and geneticist. In 1998 he and other colleagues working at Carnegie Institute reported in an article in Nature the discovery of tiny snippets of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that appeared to silence specific genes which destroyed messenger RNA, a molecule involved in the production of proteins. They hypothesised that this was caused by a catalytic process. In 2006 he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine for helping to show the mechanism that controlled the flow of genetic information. 1959-04-27T00:00:00+0000Mello is a biologist who shared the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of RNA interference. This was based on work he carried out with colleagues to identify genes involved in regulating nematode development. He discovered that some nematode embryos injected with RNA to silence certain genes passed on the silencing effect to their offspring. On investigating further they found a double-stranded RNA was involved in the silencing phenomenon and that it is a defence mechanism against viral infection. The findings were published in 1998. 1960-10-19T00:00:00+0000The experiment was conducted by Sidney Brenner, Francois Jacob, and Matt Meselson and published as 'An unstable intermediate carrying information from genes to ribosomes for protein synthesis', Nature, 190 (1961), 576-81. They established the mRNA was responsible for transporting genetic information from the nucleus to the protein-making machinery in a cell. 1961-05-13T00:00:00+0000H Alexander and K Sprunt, 'Invasion of mammalian cells by ribonucleic acid (RNA) isolated from poliovirus', 10th International Congress of Pediatrics, Lisbon, Portugal, September 9-15, 1962.1962-09-01T00:00:00+0000The prize was awarded to François Jacob, André Lwoff and Jacques Monod for their 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis'. 1965-10-14T00:00:00+0000Raymond Lockard and Jerry Lingrel conducted the experiment to understand the role of mRNA in the synthesis of proteins. They published their results in ‘The synthesis of mouse hemoglobin beta-chains in a rabbit reticulocyte cell-free system programmed with mouse reticulocyte 9S RNA’, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 37/2, (1969) 204-12.1969-10-08T00:00:00+0000Y Furuichi, '"Methylation-coupled" transcription by virus-associated transcriptase of cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus containing double-stranded RNA', Nucleic Acids Research, 1, (1974), 809-22.1974-07-01T00:00:00+0000Y Furuichi, K Miura (1975) 'A blocked structure at the 5' terminus of mRNA from cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus', Nature, 253, 374-75.1975-01-31T00:00:00+0000Y Furuichi, S Muthukrishnan, J Tomasz, AJ Shatkin (1976)'Caps in eukaryotic mRNAs: mechanism of formation of reovirus mRNA 5'-terminal m7GpppGm-C', Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology, 19, 3-20.1976-01-01T00:00:00+0000Monod was a French biochemist who, together with Francois Jacob, worked out the genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis based on their experiments with Escherichia coli in the early 1960s. They proposed that a messenger molecule in cells carries codes from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the site of protein synthesis in the cell's cytoplasm. This molecule was later called messenger RNA and is now the basis of COVID-19 vaccines. Based on his work Monrod was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1965. 1976-05-31T00:00:00+0000Two different scientific teams independently showed it was possible to get cells to produce rabbit globin using mRNA packaged in a liposome. The first was shown in mice cells by Giorgios J Dimtriadis at the National Institute for Medical Research. He published his achievement in 'Translation of rabbit globin mRNA introduced by Iiposomes into mouse lymphocytes', Nature, 274, 923-4. The second team, led by Marco Ostro at the University of Illinois, showed it was possible to get the protein produced in a human cell line by a team. This was published as Ostro, MJ, Giacomoni, D, Velle, et al (31 Aug 1978) ‘Evidence for translation of rabbit globin mRNA after Iiposome-mediated insertion into a human cell line’, Nature, 274, 921-23. 1978-08-31T00:00:00+0000Stein was an American biochemist who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for contributing to understanding the composition and functioning of ribonuclease, an enzyme that catalyses the break down of RNA into smaller components. It was the first structure and sequence worked out for any enzyme. Stein carried out the work with his colleague Stanford Moore in 1963. The two scientists were aided by their invention of the first means for automated amino acid analysis. In addition to his work on ribonuclease, Stein showed how proteins that are comprised of the same amino acids can have very different characteristics and functions.1980-02-02T00:00:00+0000Two independent teams demonstrate the phenomenon: Jonathan Izzant and Harold Weintraub; John Rubenstein and Jean-Francoise Nicolas.1984-01-01T00:00:00+0000Synthesised by a team led by Philip Felgner at Syntex Research the lipid was a major breakthrough because natural lipids are usually negatively or neutrally charged. The new lipid formed into positively charged liposome which fused more easily with negatively charged cell membranes to deliver drugs directly into a cell. 1984-01-01T00:00:00+0000PA Krieg, DA, Melton, (1984) 'Functional messenger RNAs are produced by SP6 in vitro transcription of cloned cDNAs', Nucleic Acids Research, 12/18, 7057-70.1984-09-25T00:00:00+0000Injections of a gene for pigment coloration in peturnias unexpectedly results in white flowers instead of purple flowers. US plant geneticists carrying out the experiment, Richard Jorgensen and Carolyn Napoli, call the phenomenenon 'cosuppression'.1986-01-01T00:00:00+0000The result was published in RW Malone, PL Felgner, IM Verma (1 Aug 1989) 'Cationic liposome-mediated RNA transfection', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 86/16, 6077-6081.1987-01-01T00:00:00+0000Started by former Hybritech executives, Vical built its business around using naked DNA for gene therapy.1987-01-01T00:00:00+0000RW Malone (Fall 1989) 'mRNA Transfection of cultured eukaryotic cells and embryos using cationic liposomes', Focus, 11/4.1987-10-01T00:00:00+0000JA Doudna, BP Cormack, JW Szostak, 'RNA Structure, Not Sequence, Determines the 5? Splice-Site Specificity of a Group I Intron', PNAS, 86/19 (1989), 7402-06.1989-10-01T00:00:00+00001990-01-01T00:00:00+0000The discovery suggested the therapeutic possibility of using mRNA to transiently replace faulty or missing proteins. JA Wolff, RW Malone, P Williams, W Chong, G Acsadi, A Jani, et al.,'Direct gene transfer into mouse muscle in vivo', Science, 247 (1990) 1465–68.1990-03-23T00:00:00+0000GF Jirikowski, PP Sanna, D Maciejewski-Lenoir, FE Bloom, FE (1992) 'Reversal of diabetes Insipidus in Brattleboro Rats: Intrahypothalamic Injection of Vasopressin mRNA', Science, 255, 996-98.1992-02-21T00:00:00+0000Holley was an American biochemist who shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Medicine for explaining how the genetic code controls the synthesis of proteins. This stemmed from his research on RNA which he began in the late 1940s. By 1960 and he and collaborators showed that amino acids were assembled into proteins by transfer RNAs (tRNAs). In 1965 he managed to determine the composition of tRNA that incorporates the amino acid alanine into protein molecules.1993-02-11T00:00:00+0000Lipsomes carrying mRNA encoding the influenza virus nucleoprotein reported to induce T cells in mice. F Martinon, S Krishnan, G Lenzen, R Magne, E Gomard, JG Guillet, et al., European Journal Immunolology, 23 (1993) 1719–22.1993-07-01T00:00:00+0000RM Conry, AF LoBuglio, M Wright et al, 'Characterization of a messenger RNA polynucleotide vaccine vector', Cancer Research, 55 (1995), 1397-1400. 1995-04-01T00:00:00+0000Anfinsen was an American biochemist who spent his career studying the relationships between structure and function in proteins. He is best known for his studies of ribonuclease, a type of nuclease that catalyses the degradation of RNA into smaller components. In 1972 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work 'on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation.'1995-05-14T00:00:00+0000It was the second single RNA structure to be unravelled. Doudna, J. A. and T. R. Cech, 'Self-assembly of a Group I Intron Active Site from its Component Tertiary Structural Domains', RNA, 1/1 (1995), 36-45.1996-03-01T00:00:00+0000D Boczkowski, SK Nair, D Snyder, E Gilboa, 'Dendritic cells pulsed with RNA are potent antigen-presenting cells in vitro and in vivo', The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 184/2 (1996), 465-72.1996-08-01T00:00:00+0000The company was founded by Eli Gilboa on the back of his research at Duke University Medical School. It subsequently changed its name to Argos Therapeutics and then ColImmune. 1997-01-01T00:00:00+0000Pirie was a virus physiologist and biochemist. He helped determine that the genetic component of viruses is RNA. Before this viruses were thought to be made up completely of proteins. During World War II he explored the possibility of extracting edible proteins from leaves, research that he carried on into the 1970s. His experiments were directed towards solving the food problem posed by the growing world population. He hoped to replace the inefficient method of feeding animals to secure protein for the diet.1997-03-29T00:00:00+0000Introduction of RNA into cells is shown to silence genes in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. This led to the coining of the rerm 'RNA interference'. A Fire, S Xu, M K Montgomery, S A Kostas, S E Driver, C C Mello, 'Potent and specific genetic interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans', Nature, 391 (1998), 806–11.1998-02-01T00:00:00+0000Part of research to understand viral resistance in plants. A J Hamilton, D C Baulcombe, 'A species of small antisense RNA in posttranscriptional gene silencing in plants', Sciene, 29, 286/5441 (1999), 950-2.1999-01-01T00:00:00+0000I Herr, R Obst, HG Rammensee, G Jung, 'In vivo application of RNA leads to induction of specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes and antibodies', European Journal Immunology, 30/1 (2000), 1-7. 2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000The company was founded on the back of work conducted by Ingmar Hoerr.2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000D Weissman, H Ni, D Scales, D et al, 'HIV Gag mRNA Transfection of Dendritic Cells (DC) delivers encoded antigen to MHC class I and II molecules, causes DC maturation, and induces a potent human in vitro primary immune response', The Journal of Immunology, 165 (2000), 4710-17.2000-10-15T00:00:00+0000Experiments conducted by Thomas Tuschl and colleagues show small interfering RNA (SiRNA) can be successfully used to induce short-term silencing of protein coding genes in mammalian cells. S M Elbashir, et al., 'Duplexes of 21-nucleotide RNAs mediate RNA interference in cultured mammalian cells', Nature, 411 (2010) 494-8.2001-05-24T00:00:00+0000The work was led by Ada Yonath using x-ray crystallography. This was a major achievement given the hundreds of thousands of atoms that ribosomes contain. Ribosomes help build proteins in the body. The work has led to many applications, including for the production of antibiotics. F Schlunzen, R Zarivach, J Harms, A Bashan, A Ticilj, R Albrecht, A Yonath, F Franceschi, 'Structural basis for the interaction of antibiotics with the peptidyl transferase centre in eubacteria', Nature, 413 (2001), 814-21. 2001-10-25T00:00:00+0000J Harms, F Schluenzen, R Zarivach et al, 'High resolution structure of the large ribosomal subunit from a mesophilic eubacterium,' Cell, 107 (2001), 679-88; PMID:11733066.2001-11-30T00:00:00+0000A British molecular biologist, Smith was a key pioneer in nucleic acid research. One of the few to realise the importance of nucleic acids before Watson and Crick uncovered the structure of DNA in 1953, Smith helped to elucidate the structure of ribonucleic acid molecules (RNA), the genetic material of many plant and animal viruses. This was helped by his development of paper chromatographic methods for analysing nucleosides and other units which make up DNA. He also helped to discover rare and unexpected modifications of DNA bases in bacterial genomes which are now understood to prevent attack from DNA viruses.2003-11-22T00:00:00+0000Drug developed by OPKO Opthalmologics.2004-01-01T00:00:00+0000K Karikó, H Ni, J Capodici, J, et al (2004) 'mRNA is an endogenous ligand for Toll-like receptor 3', Journal Biological Chemistry, 279, 12542–50.2004-03-01T00:00:00+0000K Karikó, M Buckstein, H Ni, D Weissman, D (Aug 2005) 'Suppression of RNA recognition by toll-like receptors: the impact of nucleoside modification and the evolutionary origin of RNA', Immunity, 23/2, 165-75.2005-08-01T00:00:00+0000The system was devised by Ian MacLachlan in collaboration with Pieter Cullis. They first published the technique as 'Diffusible-PEG-Lipid Stabilized Plasmid Lipid Particles', Advanced Genetics (2005), 53PA:157-188. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2660(05)53006-2.2005-10-19T00:00:00+0000Awarded to Andrew Fire and Craig C Mello for their work on RNAi in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans published in 1998.2006-01-01T00:00:00+0000The company was founded by Drew Weissmann and Katalin Karikó.2006-01-01T00:00:00+0000TS Zimmerman, ACH Lee, A Akinc, et al (26 March 2006) 'RNAi-mediated gene silencing in non-human primates', Nature, 441, 111-14.2006-03-26T00:00:00+0000Merck gains access to potentially gate-keeping RNAi patents owned by Sima. Signals high hopes for RNAi technology.2006-10-01T00:00:00+0000S Holtkamp, S, Kreiter, A Seimi, A, et al (15 Dec 2006) 'Modification of antigen-encoding RNA increases stability, translational efficacy, and T-cell stimulatory capacity of dendritic cells', Blood, 108/13, 4009-17.2006-12-15T00:00:00+0000Roche pays US$331 million for limited access to RNAi therapeutic platform.2007-01-01T00:00:00+0000Kornberg was an American biochemist renowned for his research on enzymes which create DNA. In 1956 he and his team isolated the first enzyme known to be involved in the replication of DNA. It would be called DNA polymerase I. For this work Kornberg shared the 1959 Nobel Prize for Medicine. The Prize was given for the discovery of the 'mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid.'2007-10-26T00:00:00+0000The company, originally called TRON, was founded by Ozlem Tureci, Ugur Sahin and Christoph Huber.2008-01-01T00:00:00+0000Drug poor at preventing vision loss.2009-01-01T00:00:00+0000Zamecnik was an American scientist who pioneered the in vitro synthesis of proteins and helped determine the way cells generate proteins. Together with Mahlon Hoagland and Mary Stephenson he showed that protein synthesis was activated by adenosine 5'-triphosphate and that ribosomes were the site of protein assembly. He also subsequently helped to discover transfer RNA and is credited with laying the foundation for the development of antisense therapies, a type of gene therapy. 2009-12-27T00:00:00+0000Sends shockwaves through RNAi drug development community.2010-11-01T00:00:00+00002010-11-01T00:00:00+0000L Warren, PD Manos, T Ahfeldt, T et al (5 Nov 2010) 'Highly efficient reprogramming to pluripotency and directed differentiation of human cells with synthetic modified mRNA', Cell Stem Cell, 7/5, 618-30.2010-11-05T00:00:00+0000Merck gained facility from Sima Therapeutics. Decision driven by company's need to cut costs.2011-07-29T00:00:00+0000Study conducted with 41 patients with advanced cancer. Led by Josep Tabernero, Institute of Oncology Department, Vall d'Hebron University together with Alnylam and other cancer research centres.2013-02-11T00:00:00+0000The team who did the research was led by Kenneth Chien. L Zangi, KO Lui, A von Gise, et al, 'Modified mRNA directs the fate of heart progenitor cells and induces vascular regeneration after myocardial infarction', Nature Biotechnology, 31/10 (Oct 2013), 898-907.2013-10-01T00:00:00+0000The drug, developed by Alynylam, aimed at lowering cholesterol. It was tested in 32 patients. 2013-10-03T00:00:00+0000Sanofi pays US$700 million for 12 percent stake in Alynlam. Signals renewed interest in RNAi therapeutics.2014-01-01T00:00:00+0000Roche agreed to pay US$148 million in upfront and milestone payments. Deal signals renewed optimism in RNAi therapeutics.2014-01-10T00:00:00+0000Novartis shut down its collaborative programme with Alynlam based on lingering problems associated with delivering RNAi therapeutics. It marked a major set back for the RNAi therapeutics field as a whole. 2014-04-14T00:00:00+0000The trials undertaken from 2013 used a drug that interferes with RNA. The drug was developed by Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. The aim of the drug is to reduce the surface antigens (HBsAg) created by chronic hepatitis B infections. The trials showed the experimental drug was safe and effective enough to be tested in people. The drug is designed to deliver a molecule to the liver where it binds to a receptor, and then another molecule, derived from bee venom, helps break through the membranes in the liver cells to deliver the medicine directly into the cells. The drug interferes with the the expression of the hepatitis B messager RNA that produces HBsAg. 2015-01-01T00:00:00+0000Launched by Isis Pharmaceuticals (now Ionis) in partnership with Roche, the trial aimed to study the first therapy designed to silence the Huntingdon's disease gene and reduce the production of a protein responsible for the disease. 2015-07-21T00:00:00+00002016-11-09T00:00:00+0000The company's shares fell from a high of $6.18 on November 8, 2016, to an $1.20 on December 21, 2016. 2016-11-09T00:00:00+0000227 patient study showed drug from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals had benefits for rare hereditary disorder - ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, a rare disorder.2017-09-20T00:00:00+0000The method provided a means to fix genetic mutations without tampering with the genome. It was published in D.B.T. Cox, J.S. Gootenberg, O.O. Abudayyeh, B.Franklin, M.J. Kellner, et al, 'RNA editing with CRISPR-Cas13', Science (25 Oct 2017), eaaq0180, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq01802017-10-25T00:00:00+0000N Pardi, MJ Hogan, FW Porter, D Weismann, 'mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology', Nature Reviews: Drug Discovery, 17 (2018), 261-79.2018-01-12T00:00:00+0000The aim of the drug is to mute hepatitis B genes to give the immune system a chance to fight the hepatitis B infection.2018-03-27T00:00:00+0000Developed by Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, the drug, ARC-520, is administered with the antiviral entecavir. The treatment cleared the HBsAg from one patient and substantially reduced it in the remaining patients. The results were presented to the European Association for the Study of the Liver. 2018-05-02T00:00:00+0000The drug, patisiran, was approved for the treatment of a rare, progressive polyneuropathy caused by hereditary transthyretin-mediated, which affects approximately 50,000 people worldwide. Developed by Alynylam Pharmaceuticals, patisiran targets mRNAs for mutated transthyretin, which causes peripheral amyloidosis. The drugs works by delivering small interfering RNAs to the liver where they bind and degrade transthyretin messenger RNA. 2018-08-14T00:00:00+0000A chemist and biophysicist, Klug won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of crystallographic electron microscopy. He used the technique to investigate nucleic acid-protein complexes and the structure of viruses. He developed an interest in viruses after meeting Rosalind Franklin in late 1953. Klug also discovered zinc-finger proteins, a class of proteins that bind specific DNA sequences. Scientists now use the modular nature of these proteins to design synthetic proteins for targeted therapies. Klug left Lithuania for South Africa with his Jewish parents when he was two. He went to England after completing his master's degree. Klug was the director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1986-1996) and President of the Royal Society (1995-2000).2018-11-20T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was developed by BioNTech in partnership with Pfizer.2020-12-11T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was developed by Moderna. 2020-12-18T00:00:00+0000Altman was a Canadian molecular biologist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for discovering the catalytic properties of RNA. This emerged out of some work Altman carried out between 1978 and 1983 on a bacterial enzyme called RNAs-P. His research helped transform the basic understanding of nuclear acids, which up to this moment had been understood to only carry genetic information. It also opened up the possibility of using genetic engineering to develop new forms of therapy against viral infections. 2022-04-05T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places
24 Sep 1905Severo Ochoa was born in Luarca, SpainOchoaNew York University
1 Jul 1907Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie was born in Eastbourne, UKPirie Rothamsted Experimental Station
25 Jun 1911William H Stein was born in New York NY, USASteinRockefeller University
22 Nov 1912Paul Zamecnik was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USAZamecnikMassachusetts General Hospital
26 Mar 1916Christian B Anfinsen was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, USA AnfinsenNational Institutes of Health
3 Mar 1918Arthur Kornberg was born in Brooklyn NY, USAKornbergStanford University
7 Jun 1920Jacques Monod was born in Nancy, FranceMonodPasteur Institute
28 Jan 1922Robert W Holley was born in Urbana IL, USAHolleyCornell University
8 Dec 1924John D Smith was born in Southampton, UKJohn D SmithCalifornia Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Molecular Biology
11 Aug 1926Aaron Klug was born in Zelvas, LithuaniaKlugLaboratory of Molecular Biology
21 Mar 1932Walter Gilbert was born in Boston MA, USAGilbertHarvard University, Biogen
7 May 1939Sidney Altman was born in Montreal, CanadaAltmanHarvard University, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Yale University
22 Jun 1939Ada E Yonath was born in Jerusalem, Palestine (now Israel)YonathWeizmann Institute
23 Aug 1940Thomas A Steitz was born in Milwaukee, WI, USASteitzYale University
6 Jun 1944Phillip A Sharp was born in Falmouth, Kentucky, USASharpMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Biogen, Alynylam Pharmaceuticals, Magen Biosciences
24 Apr 1947Roger D Kornberg was born in St. Louis, MO, USAKornbergStanford University
8 Dec 1947Thomas R Cech was born in Chicago IL, USACechUniversity of Colorado
July 1951Ribonulcease separated into two homogenous forms using column chromatographyPorter, MartinNational Institute for Medical Research
9 Nov 1952Jack Szostak was born in London, United KingdomSzotakHarvard University
1956Transfer RNA (tRNA) discoveredZamecnik, Hoagland, Stephenson,Harvard University
1956First observation of messenger RNA, or mRNAAstrachan, VolkinOak Ridge National Laboratory
27 Apr 1959Andrew Z Fire was born in Stanford CA, USAFire Carnegie Institute, Johns Hopkins, Stanford University
19 Oct 1960Craig C Mello was born in New Haven, CT, USAMelloUniversity of Massachusetts
13 May 1961Experiment confirms existence of mRNABrenner, Jacob, Meselson University of Cambridge, Pasteur Institute, California Institute of Technology
September 1962Hattie Alexander and Katherine Sprunt demonstrated that the RNA of the poliovirus can independently infect human cells Alexander, SpruntColumbia University
14 Oct 1965Nobel Prize awarded for the elucidation of the nature of mRNAJacob, Monod, LwoffPasteur Institute
8 Oct 1969mRNA isolated from a rabbit introduced into mouse lymphocytes shown to stimulate production of a proteinLockard, LingrelUniversity of Cincinnati
July 1974mRNA synthesis reported to be activated by a specific nucleotide during the initial stage of transcription of the double-stranded RNA genome.FuruichiNational Institute of Genetics
31 Jan 1975Unique 'cap' structure discovered at the tip end of mRNAFuruichi, Miura, ShatkinNational Institute of Genetics
1976Unique 'cap' structure discovered at the tip end of mRNA Furuichi, Muthukrishnan, Tomasz, ShatkinRoche Institute of Molecular Biology
31 May 1976Jacques Monod diedMonodPasteur Institute
31 Aug 1978First proteins produced in mouse and human cells by delivering mRNA packaged in a liposome Dimitriadis, Ostro, Giacomoni, Lavelle, Paxton, DrayNational Institute for Medical Research, University of Illinois
2 Feb 1980William H Stein diedSteinRockefeller University
1984Antisense RNA shown to inhibit gene activityIzzant, Weintraub, Rubenstein, NicolasFred Hutchinson Cencer Research Center, University of California San Francisco
1984First cationic (positively charged) lipid synthesised, opening up new possibilities to deliver drugs and gene therapyFelgnerSyntex Research
25 Sep 1984Large amounts of biological active mRNA produced in the laboratory using RNA-synthesis vaccine Krieg, MeltonHarvard University
1986Discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)Jorgensen, NapoliAdvanced Genetic Sciences
1987mRNA encapsulated into liposome made with cationic lipids injected into mouse cells shown to produce proteinsMalone, Felgner, VernaSalk Institute for Biological Sciences, Syntex
1987Vical Corporation foundedFelgner, Vical
October 1987First time mRNA encapsulated in liposome delivered into living organism demonstrated to produce proteins MaloneSalk Institute for Biological Sciences
October 1989RNA demonstrated to help catalyse the process for synthesising proteinDoudna, Cormack, SzostakHarvard University
1 Jan 1990Experiment shows mRNA can be used to get cells to produce protein that inhibits blood clot formationKariko, BarnathanUniversity of Pennsylvania
23 Mar 1990Naked mRNA and naked DNA injected directly into the skeletal muscle of mice reported to produce proteinsWolff, Malone, Williams, Chong, Acsadi, JaniUniversity of Wisconsin, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, Vical
21 Feb 1992Diabetes reported to be temporarily relieved by injecting mRNA into rat brainsJirikowski, Sanna, Maciejewski-Lenoir, BloomScripps Research Institute
11 Feb 1993Robert W Holley diedHolleyCornell University
July 1993First evidence that mRNA could provide a means for vaccinesMartinon, Krishnan, Lenzen, Magne, Gomard, GuilletINSERM
1 Apr 1995mRNA vaccine vector shown to stimulate immune response against human cancer antigenConry, LoBuglio, Wright, Sumerel, Pike, Johanning, Benjamin, Lu, CurielUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
14 May 1995Christian B Anfinsen died AnfinsenNational Institutes of Health
March 1996Jennifer Doudna and Thomas Cech unravelled structure of P4-P6 domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron ribozyme, a particular type of RNADoudna, CechUniversity of Colorado
August 1996Dendritic cells modified with mRNA shown to elicit strong immune response against tumours in miceBoczkowski, Nair, Snyder, D, GilboaDuke University
1997Merix Bioscience founded as spin-out to develop mRNA for cancer vaccinesGilboaDuke University
29 Mar 1997Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie diedPirieRothamsted Experimental Station
February 1998Double stranded RNA demonstrated to be potent mechanism for silencing genesFire, Mello, Xu, Montgomery, Kostas, Driver, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, University of Massachusetts Cancer Center
1999Discovery of small interfering RNA (siRNA), very small stretches of double-stranded RNA, interfere with genesBaulcombe, Hamilton John Innes Centre
January 2000Freshly synthesised naked RNA and protamine-protected RNA shown to be suitable tool for vaccinationHoerr, Obst, Ramemenseee, JungUniversity of Tübingen
2000CureVac, a spin out company, set up to develop mRNA for vaccinesIngmar HoerrCureVac
October 2000mRNA encoding for HIV reported to activate potent T cell immune response Drew Weissman, H Ni, D Scales, Dude, Capodici, McGibney, Abdool, SN Isaacs, Cannon, KarikoUniversity of Pennsylvania
May 2001Small interfering RNA (siRNA) shown to be useful tool for switching off certain genesElbashir, Harborth, Lendecker, Yalcin, Weber, TuschlMax-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
25 Oct 2001Structure and function of ribosomes deciphered opening up new era for improving antibiotic drugs and designing new onesYonath, Schlunzen, Zarivach, Harms, Basham, Ticilj, Albrecht, FrancheschiWeizmann Institute
30 Nov 2001Ada Yonath and colleagues published the complete high-resolution of structures of both ribosomal subunits and discovered a region important to the process of polypeptide polymerisationYonathWeizmann Institute
22 Nov 2003John D Smith diedJohn D SmithCalifornia Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Molecular Biology
2004Phase I trial launched with RNAi treatment (Cand5) for wet age-related macular degeneration 
March 2004mRNA reported to activate series of Toll-like receptors, signalling receptors of the innate immune systemKariko, Houping Ni, Capodici, Lamphier, Drew WeissmanUniversity of Pennsylvania
August 2005mRNA rendered invisible to immune system by replacing its nucleoside uridine with pseudouridineKariko, Buckstein, Houping Ni, Drew WeissmanUniversity of Pennsylvania
19 Oct 2005Lipid nanoparticle system published for delivering drugs and gene therapyMacLachlan, CullisProtiva Biotherapeutics, Inex Pharmaceuticals
2006Nobel Prize awarded for RNA inteference workFire, MelloCarnegie Institution of Washington, University of Massachusetts
2006Spin-out company, RNARx, founded to commercialise modified mRNA for anaemia treatmentKariko, Drew Weissman 
26 Mar 2006Monkey studies show lipid nanoparticle system successfully delivered RNA to silence disease causing genesZimmerman, ACH Lee, Akinc, Bramlage, Bumcrot, Fedorik, Harborth, James Heyes, Lloyd Jeffs, Matthias John, Adam Judge, Kieu Lam, Kevin McClintock, Nechev, Lorne Palmer, Racie, Ingo Rohl, Seiffert, Shannmugam, Sood, Soutschek, Toudjarska, Wheat, Yaworski, ZProtiva Biotherapeutics
October 2006Merck acquires Sima Therapeutics for US$1.1 billion 
15 Dec 2006Method published to produce mRNA with increased stability and translational efficiencyHoltkamp, Sebastian Kreiter, Abderraouf Selmi, Petra Simon, Koslowski, Christoph Huber, Tureci, SahinJohannes-Gutenberg University
2007Roche signs alliance with Alynlam for RNAi therapeutics 
26 Oct 2007Arthur Kornberg diedKornbergStanford University
2008Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) founded to develop mRNA as personalised cancer immunotherapiesSahin, Tureci, HuberBioNTech
2009Phase III clinical trials for RNAi treatment (Cand5) for wet age-related macular degeneration halted 
27 Dec 2009Paul Zamecnik diedZamecnikMassachusetts General Hospital
November 2010Disappointment follows Roche's decision to pull out of RNAi therapeutics 
November 2010Moderna Therapeutics founded to commercialise modified mRNA vaccines and therapeuticsRossi, Kernneth Chien, Robert LangerModerna
5 Nov 2010Modified mRNA reported to transform skin cells into pluripotent stem cellsLuigi Warren, Philip Manos, Ahfeldt, Ahfeldt, Yuin-Han Loh, Hu Li, Frank Lau, Wataru Ebina, Pankaj Mandal, Zachary Smith, Meissner, George Daley, Brack, James Collins, Chad Cowan, Schlaeger, RossiHarvard University
July 2011Merck closes down RNAi research facility 
11 Feb 2013RNAi treatment shown to be effective cancer treatment in phase I clinical trialsTaberneroVall d'Hebron University
October 2013Modified mRNA shown to help improve heart function in miceLior Zangi, Kathy Lui, von Gise, Qing Ma, Ebina,Ptaszek, Spater, Huansheng Xu, Tabebordbar,Gorbatov, Sena, Nahrendorf, David Briscoe,Ronald Li, Amy Wagers, Rossi, William Pu, Kenneth ChienHarvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Karolinska Institute
3 Oct 2013RNAi drug was indicated to be safe and well-tolerated in a phase I trial 
January 2014Sanofi invests in Alynlam 
January 2014Roche entered RNAi therapeutics alliance with Santaris 
14 Apr 2014Novartis suddenly pulls plug on RNAi researchNovartis
2015Chimpanzee trials indicated that gene silencing drug could treat hepatitis B Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals
21 Jul 2015Phase 1 clinical trial launched with RNAi treatment for Huntingdon's diseaseIsis Pharmaceuticals, Roche
9 Nov 2016FDA halted phase II trials with RNA interference drug, ARC-520, due to multiple deaths of non-human primates treated with high dosesArrowhead Pharmaceuticals
9 Nov 2016 - 21 Dec 2016Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares fell following hold on clinical trials with RNAi drug to treat hepatitis BArrowhead Pharmaceuticals
20 Sep 2017Positive results reported from clinical trial with RNAi drugAlynlam
25 Oct 2017New CRISPR technique published for editing RNA Zhang, Cox, Gootenberg, Abudayyeh, B Franklin, Kellner, Essletzbichler, Verdine, Joung, Lander, Belanto, Voytas, RegevMassachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota
12 Jan 2018mRNA flagged up as promising new vaccine technology for combating infectious diseasesPardi, Michael Hogan, Frederick Porter, Drew WeismannUniversity of Pennsylvania
27 Mar 2018Dosing trial launched with humans to test use of RNA interference drug to treat hepatitis BArrowhead Pharmaceuticals
2 May 2018Positive results for RNAi drug for treating chronic hepatitis b reported from 8-person clinical trialArrowhead Pharmaceuticals
14 Aug 2018FDA approved first-ever drug based on RNAiAlynylam Pharmaceuticals
20 Nov 2018Aaron Klug diedKlugBirkbeck College, Laboratory of Molecular Biology
11 Dec 2020FDA approved first mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 for emergency useBioNTech, Pfizer
18 Dec 2020FDA approved second mRNA vaccine for COVID-19Moderna
5 Apr 2022Sidney Altman diedAltmanHarvard University, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Yale University

24 Sep 1905

Severo Ochoa was born in Luarca, Spain

1 Jul 1907

Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie was born in Eastbourne, UK

25 Jun 1911

William H Stein was born in New York NY, USA

22 Nov 1912

Paul Zamecnik was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

26 Mar 1916

Christian B Anfinsen was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, USA

3 Mar 1918

Arthur Kornberg was born in Brooklyn NY, USA

7 Jun 1920

Jacques Monod was born in Nancy, France

28 Jan 1922

Robert W Holley was born in Urbana IL, USA

8 Dec 1924

John D Smith was born in Southampton, UK

11 Aug 1926

Aaron Klug was born in Zelvas, Lithuania

21 Mar 1932

Walter Gilbert was born in Boston MA, USA

7 May 1939

Sidney Altman was born in Montreal, Canada

22 Jun 1939

Ada E Yonath was born in Jerusalem, Palestine (now Israel)

23 Aug 1940

Thomas A Steitz was born in Milwaukee, WI, USA

6 Jun 1944

Phillip A Sharp was born in Falmouth, Kentucky, USA

24 Apr 1947

Roger D Kornberg was born in St. Louis, MO, USA

8 Dec 1947

Thomas R Cech was born in Chicago IL, USA

Jul 1951

Ribonulcease separated into two homogenous forms using column chromatography

9 Nov 1952

Jack Szostak was born in London, United Kingdom

1956

Transfer RNA (tRNA) discovered

1956

First observation of messenger RNA, or mRNA

27 Apr 1959

Andrew Z Fire was born in Stanford CA, USA

19 Oct 1960

Craig C Mello was born in New Haven, CT, USA

13 May 1961

Experiment confirms existence of mRNA

Sep 1962

Hattie Alexander and Katherine Sprunt demonstrated that the RNA of the poliovirus can independently infect human cells

14 Oct 1965

Nobel Prize awarded for the elucidation of the nature of mRNA

8 Oct 1969

mRNA isolated from a rabbit introduced into mouse lymphocytes shown to stimulate production of a protein

Jul 1974

mRNA synthesis reported to be activated by a specific nucleotide during the initial stage of transcription of the double-stranded RNA genome.

31 Jan 1975

Unique 'cap' structure discovered at the tip end of mRNA

1976

Unique 'cap' structure discovered at the tip end of mRNA

31 May 1976

Jacques Monod died

31 Aug 1978

First proteins produced in mouse and human cells by delivering mRNA packaged in a liposome

2 Feb 1980

William H Stein died

1984

Antisense RNA shown to inhibit gene activity

1984

First cationic (positively charged) lipid synthesised, opening up new possibilities to deliver drugs and gene therapy

25 Sep 1984

Large amounts of biological active mRNA produced in the laboratory using RNA-synthesis vaccine

1986

Discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)

1987

mRNA encapsulated into liposome made with cationic lipids injected into mouse cells shown to produce proteins

1987

Vical Corporation founded

Oct 1987

First time mRNA encapsulated in liposome delivered into living organism demonstrated to produce proteins

Oct 1989

RNA demonstrated to help catalyse the process for synthesising protein

1 Jan 1990

Experiment shows mRNA can be used to get cells to produce protein that inhibits blood clot formation

23 Mar 1990

Naked mRNA and naked DNA injected directly into the skeletal muscle of mice reported to produce proteins

21 Feb 1992

Diabetes reported to be temporarily relieved by injecting mRNA into rat brains

11 Feb 1993

Robert W Holley died

Jul 1993

First evidence that mRNA could provide a means for vaccines

1 Apr 1995

mRNA vaccine vector shown to stimulate immune response against human cancer antigen

14 May 1995

Christian B Anfinsen died

Mar 1996

Jennifer Doudna and Thomas Cech unravelled structure of P4-P6 domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron ribozyme, a particular type of RNA

Aug 1996

Dendritic cells modified with mRNA shown to elicit strong immune response against tumours in mice

1997

Merix Bioscience founded as spin-out to develop mRNA for cancer vaccines

29 Mar 1997

Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie died

Feb 1998

Double stranded RNA demonstrated to be potent mechanism for silencing genes

1999

Discovery of small interfering RNA (siRNA), very small stretches of double-stranded RNA, interfere with genes

Jan 2000

Freshly synthesised naked RNA and protamine-protected RNA shown to be suitable tool for vaccination

2000

CureVac, a spin out company, set up to develop mRNA for vaccines

Oct 2000

mRNA encoding for HIV reported to activate potent T cell immune response

May 2001

Small interfering RNA (siRNA) shown to be useful tool for switching off certain genes

25 Oct 2001

Structure and function of ribosomes deciphered opening up new era for improving antibiotic drugs and designing new ones

30 Nov 2001

Ada Yonath and colleagues published the complete high-resolution of structures of both ribosomal subunits and discovered a region important to the process of polypeptide polymerisation

22 Nov 2003

John D Smith died

2004

Phase I trial launched with RNAi treatment (Cand5) for wet age-related macular degeneration

Mar 2004

mRNA reported to activate series of Toll-like receptors, signalling receptors of the innate immune system

Aug 2005

mRNA rendered invisible to immune system by replacing its nucleoside uridine with pseudouridine

19 Oct 2005

Lipid nanoparticle system published for delivering drugs and gene therapy

2006

Nobel Prize awarded for RNA inteference work

2006

Spin-out company, RNARx, founded to commercialise modified mRNA for anaemia treatment

26 Mar 2006

Monkey studies show lipid nanoparticle system successfully delivered RNA to silence disease causing genes

Oct 2006

Merck acquires Sima Therapeutics for US$1.1 billion

15 Dec 2006

Method published to produce mRNA with increased stability and translational efficiency

2007

Roche signs alliance with Alynlam for RNAi therapeutics

26 Oct 2007

Arthur Kornberg died

2008

Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) founded to develop mRNA as personalised cancer immunotherapies

2009

Phase III clinical trials for RNAi treatment (Cand5) for wet age-related macular degeneration halted

27 Dec 2009

Paul Zamecnik died

Nov 2010

Disappointment follows Roche's decision to pull out of RNAi therapeutics

Nov 2010

Moderna Therapeutics founded to commercialise modified mRNA vaccines and therapeutics

5 Nov 2010

Modified mRNA reported to transform skin cells into pluripotent stem cells

Jul 2011

Merck closes down RNAi research facility

11 Feb 2013

RNAi treatment shown to be effective cancer treatment in phase I clinical trials

Oct 2013

Modified mRNA shown to help improve heart function in mice

3 Oct 2013

RNAi drug was indicated to be safe and well-tolerated in a phase I trial

Jan 2014

Sanofi invests in Alynlam

Jan 2014

Roche entered RNAi therapeutics alliance with Santaris

14 Apr 2014

Novartis suddenly pulls plug on RNAi research

2015

Chimpanzee trials indicated that gene silencing drug could treat hepatitis B

21 Jul 2015

Phase 1 clinical trial launched with RNAi treatment for Huntingdon's disease

9 Nov 2016

FDA halted phase II trials with RNA interference drug, ARC-520, due to multiple deaths of non-human primates treated with high doses

9 Nov 2016 - 21 Dec 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares fell following hold on clinical trials with RNAi drug to treat hepatitis B

20 Sep 2017

Positive results reported from clinical trial with RNAi drug

25 Oct 2017

New CRISPR technique published for editing RNA

12 Jan 2018

mRNA flagged up as promising new vaccine technology for combating infectious diseases

27 Mar 2018

Dosing trial launched with humans to test use of RNA interference drug to treat hepatitis B

2 May 2018

Positive results for RNAi drug for treating chronic hepatitis b reported from 8-person clinical trial

14 Aug 2018

FDA approved first-ever drug based on RNAi

20 Nov 2018

Aaron Klug died

11 Dec 2020

FDA approved first mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 for emergency use

18 Dec 2020

FDA approved second mRNA vaccine for COVID-19

5 Apr 2022

Sidney Altman died

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