BioNTech and Moderna set their sights on treating cancer
BioNTech cofounder Özlem Türeci stressed in a recent interview with AP that the mRNA vaccine technology that is its focus could be a powerful weapon against cancer. “We have several different cancer vaccines based on mRNA,” said Türeci, BioNTech’s chief medical officer.
Such therapy could be available to people within a “couple of years,” Türeci said, stressing that it is difficult to predict regulatory timelines involving emerging therapies.
BioNTech is currently working on several novel immunotherapies for oncology targeting melanoma, prostate cancer and cancers associated with human papillomavirus.
Moderna is also exploring the possibility of using its mRNA vaccines for treating cancer. The company has Phase 2 studies underway investigating melanoma and ovarian cancer.
Moderna is also testing mRNA vaccines’ potential to revascularize heart tissue post-heart attack.
Its pipeline also includes a vaccine for cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a frequent cause of birth defects. Roughly one out of every 200 babies is born with congenital CMV, according to CDC.