Dr. Ian MacLachlan
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As founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Protiva and subsequently Tekmira (now named Arbutus) Dr. MacLachlan led the development of the lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology enabling the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. LNP, almost universally manufactured by the ethanol dilution method developed at Protiva, efficiently encapsulate nucleic acids in uniform nanoparticles that deliver their payload to target cells. Tekmira’s applied the technology to 9 clinical stage siRNA products and the first siRNA product to achieve market approval, Patisiran (Onpattro), developed by Tekmira and Tekmira’s partner Alnylam. LNP are now the most widely adopted delivery solution for RNA and form the basis of more than 12 clinical stage mRNA vaccines for COVID 19 and is used in several promising product candidates in the gene editing arena. In 2014 Dr. MacLachlan left Tekmira and began an independent consulting practice advising clients on their own product development efforts and business development strategies.
Development of LNP-Enabled Antiviral Therapeutics and Vaccines - A Historical Perspective