The second phase trial of an mRNA-based cancer vaccine developed by BioNTech has started, the German biopharmaceutical company announced on Friday.
The first colorectal cancer patient was dosed with the individualized mRNA cancer vaccine BNT122 in a Phase 2 clinical trial, the company said in a statement.
Ozlem Tureci, co-founder and chief medical officer of BioNTech, said the trial is an important milestone in the company’s years long efforts to develop individualized immunotherapies for cancer patients.
“Many cancers progress in such a way that the patient initially appears tumor-free after surgery, but after some time tumor foci that were initially invisible grow and form metastases,” she said.
“In this clinical trial in patients with colorectal cancer, we aim to identify high-risk patients with a blood test and investigate whether an individualized mRNA vaccine can prevent such relapses,” she added.
The trial will enroll approximately 200 patients with high-risk colorectal cancer, and it will be performed in the US, Germany, Spain, and Belgium. Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer worldwide.
BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine against COVID-19 was the first to win authorization in the US and the EU, and it has been highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths from the disease.