DART VADAR harnesses the force of enzymes for better RNA drugs

For decades, researchers have faced challenges in developing RNA-based therapies for diseases that only affect a single organ or cell type, wherein the full-body immune response caused by mRNA vaccines is not necessary to combat the disease. Researchers at MIT and Wyss Institute at Harvard University, including Jim Collins, Faculty lead at MIT Jameel Clinic, have developed a new system to overcome this roadblock called DART VADAR, which uses an enzyme that edits RNA in the human body to trigger the translation of a genetic payload in response to the presence of a specific molecular marker of disease and/or cell type. The technology has the potential to enable the development of highly specific treatments for a variety of diseases. The study was reported in Nature Communications.

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