The co-founders of the biotechnology company BioNTech announced the creation of a personalized cancer vaccine by 2030. Breakthroughs in mRNA vaccines from COVID-19, achieved during the pandemic, helped speed up the process. Professors Ugur Şahin and Özlem Turecı, founders of the biotechnology company BioNTech in Germany, told the BBC.
BioNTech, in partnership with Pfizer, was one of the first to develop an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the development and testing of mRNA technology. Scientists now expect the new vaccine to teach the body to recognize and attack cancer with mRNA. The plan is to administer personalized vaccines to patients after surgery that induce an immune response against cancer cells.
“The T cells will target the remaining tumor cells to completely destroy them,” explained Shaheen.
“Our development for a cancer vaccine, which we’ve been working on for decades, was a tailwind for creating the COVID-19 vaccine, and now we’re going back to our work on cancer. We have learned how to produce vaccines better and faster. On large numbers of people, we’ve learned how the immune system responds to mRNA,” Turechi said.
So far, scientists are only making assumptions, but they believe that the necessary scientific basis for creating a personalized anti-cancer approach is already in place.
It is worth noting that already last summer, BioNTech announced the launch of the second phase of clinical trials of a cancer vaccine mRNA. BioNTech’s competitor, Moderna, also previously announced the launch of studies to study the technology for cancer treatment. Overall, the versatility of the mRNA approach makes it potentially effective in the therapy of many diseases – it is already being tested in the treatment of muscular dystrophy and is being studied against herpes and smallpox.