Nature’s Toolbox, Inc. (NTx), a Rio Rancho-based life sciences company, announced Thursday it has been awarded a contract under the Vaccines on Demand program from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

BARDA is part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NTx, which enables novel pharmaceutical RNA and protein development and production, will work in collaboration with Houston Methodist Hospital to demonstrate the potential of its NTxscribe platform to meet the needs for a scalable, rapidly deployable RNA manufacturing capability to support global vaccine preparedness and response.

“We are pleased to have been selected for a contract under the Vaccines on Demand program and are eager to demonstrate the power of our next-generation RNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing capabilities alongside the team at Houston Methodist Hospital,” NTx CEO Jamie Coffin said. “The traditional batch processes for developing vaccines and other biologics are burdensome and cannot be scaled quickly in the event of an emergency. Over the course of this project, we will aim to prove that NTxscribe can help BARDA meet its goals toward decentralized and rapidly deployable vaccine manufacturing.”

According to NTx, “The NTxscribe platform is a cell-free, true continuous flow manufacturing system that delivers scalable RNA (including mRNA and self-amplifying RNA) materials in a tabletop footprint. This enzymatic process is designed to provide a low cost and rapidly deployable, vertically integrated manufacturing system. Through this program, the system is being evaluated for its express development of RNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases, as well as its capability for distributed bio-manufacturing.”

“The scientists within our Center for RNA Therapeutics at Houston Methodist Hospital are energized by the opportunity to develop a deployable manufacturing unit for RNA drugs, working with the Nature’s Toolbox team,” said Dr. John Cooke, Professor and Director of the Center. “These units will change the way in which RNA drugs are developed and distributed, so as to democratize RNA therapeutics.”