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mRNA - Statistics & Facts

The mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) was discovered at the beginning of the 1960s. It transports genetic information about the structure of certain proteins from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the protein production machines of the cell, the so-called ribosomes. mRNA therapeutics differ fundamentally from previous drugs. They are neither low molecular weight compounds (small molecules) like conventional pharmaceuticals. Nor are they conventional biologics (recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies). Instead, mRNA drugs are a series of instructions for body cells to make proteins to prevent or fight diseases.

COVID-19 brought the breakthrough

The hopes associated with this technology from the beginning have received a huge boost from the success of the COVID-19 vaccines. Since then, numerous mRNA startups have been founded, entering collaborations with industry giants, or being even acquired by them. Of course, big pharma doesn't want to miss the prospect of this paradigm shift in medicine. In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, the areas of application for mRNA technology range from individualized cancer therapies to highly effective vaccinations against malaria, flu, hepatitis or HIV to mRNA therapeutics against fatal hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

Two companies stand out

Along the race towards a safe and effective vaccine to stem the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, two companies stand out, getting into the spotlight of global attention. One of them is German biotechnology enterprise BioNTech, based in the city of Mainz. It developed the first widely used COVID-19 vaccine, which was based on former cancer treatment studies, in cooperation with U.S. pharma giant Pfizer. The second company is Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its COVID-19 vaccine received an emergency authorization for usage some days after the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. In 2021, both companies will make profit for the first time in their history. It should also be stated that both companies received hundreds of millions of dollars/euros (Moderna even billions) of taxpayer money for their research. Without this, the probably fastest response to a disease in human history would not have been possible.

What are the prospects?

Although mRNA technology is very promising, the outlook is somehow fluctuating. It seems for sure that 2021 will be an exceptional year for the mRNA market, totally dominated by the COVID-19 vaccines. However, after the expected 50 billion U.S. dollars generated in that year, this boost will probably pass by, with revenues dropping down to some 14 billion dollars in 2028. After that, the market could increase again up to 23 billion dollars until 2035. Interestingly, the share of COVID-19 vaccines in the overall mRNA market is expected to decrease quite quickly, from 100 percent in the period 2021-2024 to some 25 percent in 2034.

Key figures

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Biotechnology

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In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "mRNA technology".

mRNA technology

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mRNA - Statistics & Facts

The mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) was discovered at the beginning of the 1960s. It transports genetic information about the structure of certain proteins from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the protein production machines of the cell, the so-called ribosomes. mRNA therapeutics differ fundamentally from previous drugs. They are neither low molecular weight compounds (small molecules) like conventional pharmaceuticals. Nor are they conventional biologics (recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies). Instead, mRNA drugs are a series of instructions for body cells to make proteins to prevent or fight diseases.

COVID-19 brought the breakthrough

The hopes associated with this technology from the beginning have received a huge boost from the success of the COVID-19 vaccines. Since then, numerous mRNA startups have been founded, entering collaborations with industry giants, or being even acquired by them. Of course, big pharma doesn't want to miss the prospect of this paradigm shift in medicine. In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, the areas of application for mRNA technology range from individualized cancer therapies to highly effective vaccinations against malaria, flu, hepatitis or HIV to mRNA therapeutics against fatal hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

Two companies stand out

Along the race towards a safe and effective vaccine to stem the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, two companies stand out, getting into the spotlight of global attention. One of them is German biotechnology enterprise BioNTech, based in the city of Mainz. It developed the first widely used COVID-19 vaccine, which was based on former cancer treatment studies, in cooperation with U.S. pharma giant Pfizer. The second company is Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its COVID-19 vaccine received an emergency authorization for usage some days after the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. In 2021, both companies will make profit for the first time in their history. It should also be stated that both companies received hundreds of millions of dollars/euros (Moderna even billions) of taxpayer money for their research. Without this, the probably fastest response to a disease in human history would not have been possible.

What are the prospects?

Although mRNA technology is very promising, the outlook is somehow fluctuating. It seems for sure that 2021 will be an exceptional year for the mRNA market, totally dominated by the COVID-19 vaccines. However, after the expected 50 billion U.S. dollars generated in that year, this boost will probably pass by, with revenues dropping down to some 14 billion dollars in 2028. After that, the market could increase again up to 23 billion dollars until 2035. Interestingly, the share of COVID-19 vaccines in the overall mRNA market is expected to decrease quite quickly, from 100 percent in the period 2021-2024 to some 25 percent in 2034.

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