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Oxford Nanopore, University of Queensland Partner for Sequencing-Based mRNA Vaccine Quality Control

NEW YORK – Oxford Nanopore Technologies said on Thursday that it has formed a research partnership with the University of Queensland in Australia for sequencing-based mRNA vaccine quality control testing.

As part of the collaboration, researchers from the Base facility within UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) will use nanopore sequencing technology to optimize the process of measuring mRNA vaccine quality attributes, Oxford Nanopore said.

"Currently, mRNA vaccines and therapies are analyzed using a range of different methods that are time-consuming, complicated, and costly, and often outdated," Helen Gunter, an mRNA technologies researcher at Base, said in a statement. "By using Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencing, we can directly analyze each individual mRNA vaccine molecule as it passes through a protein nanopore, providing a real-time measurement of the mRNA sequence identity and integrity."

In a study published in Nature Communications on Thursday, Gunter and collaborators described a streamlined workflow, termed Vax-seq, that uses direct RNA long-read nanopore sequencing to measure key quality features of mRNA vaccines and therapies, including sequence identity, integrity, and 3’-poly(A) tail length, as well as DNA and RNA contamination.