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A Healthy Guarantee

The RNA Institute and AMRI Team to Speed Development of RNA-Based Therapeutics

The combined efforts of The RNA Institute and AMRI, Inc., to created new therapeutics is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between an academic institute and a contract research organization.

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 22, 2016) — RNA-based therapeutics offer new and very exciting approaches to health, but how to discern whether or not a discovery is on the right track to development and manufacture is new territory as well.

Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI), the locally based global contract research and manufacturing organization, is recognized industrywide for providing federal government-required qualitative assessments, or “assays,” for its pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical clients. But, in expanding its clientele to include research in RNA-based therapeutics, it requires new assaying tools.

Enter The RNA Institute to fill this gap. The Institute possesses the intellectual research and development capabilities to design and create new tools, including quality assays, for the pharma and biopharma industry — and so, a first-of-its-type collaboration between the academically based Institute and the corporate AMRI has been created.

According to AMRI officials, as the science of RNA-based therapies evolves from discovery to manufacturing, Institute-developed qualitative assessment standards will allow AMRI to reproduce and distribute quality assays to pharma companies for federal Food & Drug Administration approval and commercial production.

“We are excited to work with UAlbany’s RNA Institute to focus on improving RNA-based therapeutics,” said Christopher Conway, AMRI senior vice president for Discovery & Development Services. “We look forward to collaborating with the Institute’s scientists in this exciting new area to continue to improve and make available RNA research tools, with the goal of ultimately seeing these discoveries translate to patients in a clinical setting.”

“This agreement is a first-of-its-kind between an academic institute or center and a contract research organization,” said Paul Agris, director of The RNA Institute. “The Institute, because of its unique mission of science-driven technology development, will provide RNA technology advancement, new assays and materials that AMRI will use in support of their drug and diagnostics discovery programs.”

Through the agreement, RNA Institute-developed research tools and quality control and assessment standards will be shared with AMRI to refine, validate and link commercial partners to support client research and development.

Agris noted that this collaboration — and AMRI’s established relationships throughout the health research community — will facilitate additional RNA Institute partnerships to advance the research and development of new analytical tools for RNA-based therapeutics.

“We are delighted to be working with AMRI and confident our agreement with them will lead to important advances in biomedicine, while also creating new opportunities, including training and jobs for New York,” said Dr. Agris.

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