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Ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based therapeutics have in recent years emerged as an attractive new technology that holds much promise for the development of a new class of drugs to combat disease. RNA drugs have opened up new avenues for treating diseases through their ability to induce protein coding, inhibit protein translation and their specificity of binding to target molecules. Strategies for RNA therapeutics involve the use of coding RNA, for example in vitro transcribed mRNA, as well as non-coding RNAs—antisense oligonucleotides, siRNAs, miRNAs and RNA aptamers. Various RNA therapeutics are currently under development and a few have been approved for clinical use, such as the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. Whilst RNA therapeutics hold much potential as an intervention strategy, a major hurdle in their application to treat disease is the lack of suitable delivery systems. A key focus research area in developing RNA-based formulations is overcoming nuclease degradation, recognition by the immune system, and optimising their targeted delivery.
This Collection will collate articles investigating all aspects of RNA therapeutics, from development to delivery, including their mechanisms of action and clinical applications.