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BioNTech begins human trials for mRNA therapy targeting colon cancer and melanoma

mRNA cocktail treatment shows anti-tumor effect without toxic side effects in mice


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Pfizer’s vaccine partner, BioNTech, has its sights set on treating cancer with mRNA technology.

Data has been promising enough in animal studies to prompt a move towards clinical trials.

An mRNA cocktail that, once delivered to the target cells, prompts them to produce four anticancer molecules.

The mRNAs code for 4 cytokines: interleukin-12, interferon-alpha, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and IL-15 sushi.

Researchers administered the mRNA cocktail into colon and melanoma tumors in 20 mice.

Treatment was able to halt tumor growth, leading to total regression in 17 of the mice.

When combined the mRNA mixture with either anti-CTLA-4 or anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors, the results were further improved.

A phase 1 basket trial of the drug, SAR441000, is to begin enrolling patients with solid tumors.

The trial will test the mRNA both solo and in combination with Libtayo, a PD-1 inhibitor.

Study corresponded by Ugur Sahin, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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Company developing patient-specific immunotherapies for cancer.

Science Translational Medicine

Journal that publish papers with topics related to translational medicine

Ugur Sahin

Professor Medicine at University of Mainz and Co-Founder and CEO of BioNTech.

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