mRNA cocktail reduced tumors in mice with great success
After developing the mRNA technology behind the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, BioNTech might have a breakthrough cancer treatment. An mRNA cocktail is moving to human trials after it shrank colon cancer and melanoma model tumors in mice.
“mRNA is an ideal therapeutic to ensure transient and local translation of cytokines, which can be delivered with or without specialized formulation and be further tuned for translation and activity on innate immune receptors,” BioNtech researchers wrote in their findings.
Of 20 mice they injected, 17 had a complete regression of the cancer. Following on their success, BioNTech and partner Sanofi have begun a Phase 1 human trial for the treatment. BioNTech also is conducting a Phase II trial on an mRNA melanoma treatment in partnership with Roche.
“We have several different cancer vaccines based on mRNA,” BioNTech co-founder and chief medical officer Ozlem Tureci told the Times of Israel. It’s “very difficult to predict in innovative development. But we expect that within only a couple of years, we will also have our vaccines (against) cancer at a place where we can offer them to people.”
After producing safe, effective vaccines against a new virus in record time, mRNA is now offering promising remedies for some of the oldest and most deadly diseases that have plagued humankind.
BioNTech is also applying for global approval to vaccinate younger children against COVID.
“Already over the next few weeks we will file the results of our trial in 5- to 11-year-olds with regulators across the world and will request approval of the vaccine in this age group, also here in Europe,” Tureci told Germany’s Der Spiegel.
The company also hopes to have vaccines approved for children as young as 6 months by the end of this year. Moderna’s mRNA vaccine could as soon be available for children ages 6 to 11. It’s in clinical trials now, and the company is working on the correct dosage for kids as young as 6 months.