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Industry News: Moirai Biodesign creates new synthetic RNA design software

25 Jun 2021

Moirai Biodesign, a biotech startup located at the Barcelona Scientific Park, has launched MoiRNAiFold, a best-in-class software for the design of complex RNA molecules that will propel the development of state-of-the-art therapies, diagnostic methods and vaccines.

The company, led by expert researchers in computational biology and synthetic biology, makes the tool available to the scientific community free of charge and offers its services and knowledge to the industry and academia.

MoiRNAiFold is said to outperform any existing software in designing RNA sequences that are functional when validated both in-vitro and in-vivo. The tool is able to generate, in an easy-to-use, intuitive, and versatile way, RNA molecules that are equally or more efficient than those obtained from a selection of a battery of hundreds of designs. Its approach can be applied at any time with the expectation that the number of RNA molecules to be tested will be drastically reduced without compromising functionality and therefore reducing the time and cost of production in any scenario.

The therapeutic application of synthetic RNA is very innovative and has great medical and pharmacological potential, as it opens the door to a new generation of targeted therapies for certain pathologies -neurological, congenital, oncological, neurodegenerative, etc., as well as for the development of new antibiotics and vaccines. One of the greatest advantages of synthetic RNA therapeutic approaches is the ability to adapt quickly to new pathogens or diseases. Recently, a large number of articles have been published regarding RNA-based patents and commercial applications (related, among others, to vaccines, other therapies, and diagnoses) that show an enormous potential or that are a radical success. For example, in the context of the current pandemic, Moderna and Pfizer / BioNtech have developed synthetic mRNA vaccines to induce immunity, winning the race to produce the first vaccines against the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Moirai Biodesign is a biotech startup created in 2016 by a group of scientists, experts in the field of bioinformatics, synthetic biology, and computational biology, in order to put RNA design at the service of biomedical R&D of industry and academia. Based in the Barcelona Scientific Park, the company has a multidisciplinary team of six specialists in biomedicine, biochemistry and artificial intelligence, among other areas. Moirai is pioneer in the development of RNA-based solutions for the development of new therapies and diagnostic systems. The biotech startup is in the validation phase of a diagnostic device, based on its own RNA biosensor technology, which initially focuses on determining the etiology of sepsis. 

To develop this technology, Moirai Biodesign has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 712949 (TECNIOspring PLUS), as well as from the Agency for the Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia.

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