Is the technology behind the mRNA vaccines new?

The therapeutic use of mRNA has been a subject of inquiry for around 30 years. Carried out more than 10 years ago, the first clinical studies of mRNA as a therapeutic tool centred on the treatment of cancer patients. The technology itself has therefore been around for a long time. That said, the fact that mRNA vaccines have gained such prominence in the battle against the coronavirus is also owing to the current public-health crisis. While the basic technology and specific applications have long been the subject of research, significant investment in further development was lacking. This situation changed suddenly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.