STOCKHOLM, October 2. /TASS/. The 2023 Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Katalin Kariko of Hungary and Drew Weissman of the United States, the Nobel Assembly at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet said in a statement.
"The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19," the statement reads.
"The discoveries by the two Nobel Laureates were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020. Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times," the Nobel Assembly noted.
"The impressive flexibility and speed with which mRNA vaccines can be developed pave the way for using the new platform also for vaccines against other infectious diseases. In the future, the technology may also be used to deliver therapeutic proteins and treat some cancer types," the statement added.
"Several other vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, based on different methodologies, were also rapidly introduced, and together, more than 13 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given globally. The vaccines have saved millions of lives and prevented severe disease in many more, allowing societies to open and return to normal conditions. Through their fundamental discoveries of the importance of base modifications in mRNA, this year’s Nobel laureates critically contributed to this transformative development during one of the biggest health crises of our time," the Nobel Assembly emphasized.