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Short, weakly interacting RNA ligands for the development of high-concentration monoclonal antibody therapeutics

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SWIRL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: WIEN
postcode: 1010

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Total cost 150˙000 €
 EC max contribution 150˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-PoC
 Funding Scheme ERC-POC
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-06-01   to  2019-11-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT WIEN AT (WIEN) coordinator 150˙000.00


 Project objective

Usage of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has over the past 20 years become one of the most powerful pharmacological strategies in the treatment of various types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune disorders. Importantly, a central challenge in developing the required high protein concentration formulations of mAb therapeutics is the issue of protein solubility. The current approaches for addressing this challenge typically involve using different osmolyte excipients such as salts, carbohydrates, amino acids or surfactants, but they suffer from various problems including insufficient activity, low specificity, allergenic reactivity and others. Clearly, there exists an unmet need for novel strategies to increase the solubility of mAbs in pharmaceutical formulations in an efficient, cost-effective, target-specific manner. We propose to address this challenge by exploiting one of the central biological interaction partners of proteins, the RNA molecules. Specifically, we will: 1) bring to a product stage a computational software suite for designing short, weakly interacting RNA ligands (SWIRLs) that improve the solubility of aggregation-prone mAb therapeutics in a sequence- specific manner, and 2) commercialize the software for usage in a biopharmaceutical context. The designed SWIRLs increase the solubility of target proteins and shield them from unwanted aggregation through weak, specific interactions and a simultaneous alteration of solvent structure. Moreover, a major advantage of using short, standard unmodified RNAs is that they are non-immunogenic and are degradable in the blood, which makes them a unique material for formulation development. Importantly, the sequence-specific design of SWIRLs for a particular target protein will be based on fundamental physicochemical principles of RNA-protein interactions, recently elucidated by us in the context of our ERC Starting Independent grant project.

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The information about "SWIRL" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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