Recently, one of the richest people in the world, Bill Gates himself, decided to financially support the work of polish scientists. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested $813,578 in ExploRNA Therapeutics, a spin-off of the University of Warsaw. These funds are to support the project for a period of up to 14 months .
According to the website of the University of Warsaw, the company was founded in 2019 by professor Jacek Jemielit, doctor Joanna Kowalska and Marek Baranowski from the University of Warsaw, in cooperation with scientists from the Medical University of Warsaw: professor Jakub Gołąb and professor Dominika Nowis . The project aims to develop innovative biotechnological technologies for modifying mRNA (matrix, i. e. informational ribonucleic acid ), which plays an important role in, among other things, the production of preventive vaccines .
As Jacek Jemielity, professor of the University of Warsaw, biotechnologist and president of the aforementioned company, says: We do not assume the production of a vaccine against a specific disease, our goal is to show that the use of our technology brings real benefits in the development of vaccines based on mRNA technology, including the prevention of the development of infectious diseases, as well as in the treatment of cancer .
In addition to Bill Gates, in 2020 Michał Sołowow, who is a famous entrepreneur, invested in the company as well. He is the owner, among others, Synthos, Barlinka and Cersanit. He did this through his Black Forest fund SICAV-SIF.
Has the desire to invest in biotechnology increased during the coronavirus pandemic?
Perhaps. However, it is worth noting that preventive antiviral vaccines are not the only therapeutic use of mRNA. As we read on the university website: Next in line are therapeutic cancer vaccines, genetic therapies for rare diseases and heart disease. It is also a variety of therapeutic methods using antibodies produced in the patient’s cells on the basis of mRNA – such examples are many more . We can sleep peacefully, because the development of biotechnology and medicine in Poland is progressing quickly. We are in good hands.
- Spin-off is a company separated from the parent company, related to its development and research work. The expression directly means ‘“sideeffect, effect, splinter” […]. (https://businessinsider.com.pl/poradnik-finansowy/oszczedzanie/spin-off-co-to-jest-i-jak-dziala-przedsiebiorstwo-odpryskowe/e62m8w0)
- Article written by Katarzyna Krogulec, published on a platform mamstartup.pl: Bill Gates has invested over $800,000 in Polish BioTech, 20.12.2022.; URL:https://mamstartup.pl/bill-gates-zainwestowal-ponad-800-tysiecy-dolarow-w-polski-biotech/#:~:text=ExploRNA%20Therapeutics%20otrzymała%20od%20Fundacji,projekt%20przez%20na%2014%20miesięcy,
- Article published on the official site of the University of Warsaw (uw.edu.pl): ExploRNA Therapeutics with the capital for developement, 22.12.2020; URL: https://www.uw.edu.pl/explorna-therapeutics-z-kapitalem-na-rozwoj/
- The definition of mRNA, Dictionary of polish language; URL: https://sjp.pl/mRNA
- Article published in Business Insider Magazine Spin off — what is it? How does the spin-off work?, 28.05.2022, 6:00.; URL: https://businessinsider.com.pl/poradnik-finansowy/oszczedzanie/spin-off-co-to-jest-i-jak-dziala-przedsiebiorstwo-odpryskowe/e62m8w0