Success Story

Wellcome Leap Funds Penn to develop “on-demand” manufacturing technology for RNA-based vaccines

With support from PCI, Penn Engineering secured a multi-million-dollar contract with Wellcome Leap under the organization’s $60 million RNA Readiness + Response (R3) program, a jointly funded initiative with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Through their participation in the program, Penn Engineers aim to create “on-demand” manufacturing technology that can produce a range of RNA-based vaccines.

The Penn Engineering team includes Daeyeon Lee, PhD, Evan C Thompson Term Chair for Excellence in Teaching and Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Michael Mitchell, PhD, Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in Bioengineering, David Issadore, Associate Professor in Bioengineering and Electrical and Systems Engineering, and Sagar Yadavali, a former postdoctoral researcher in the Issadore and Lee labs and now the CEO of Penn startup InfiniFluidics. Penn Medicine’s Dr. Drew Weissman, whose foundational discoveries play a vital role in mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, is also a part of this interdisciplinary team.

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