French startup Invectys believes to have found the solution to cancer: one vaccine to cure them all! By targeting telomerase, this new immunotherapy could theoretically fight 95 % of all human cancers.
When a cell divides, a small piece of DNA, called telomere, is lost at both ends of each chromosome. Telomerase adds these pieces of DNA again at the end of chromosomes in germ cells, allowing them to divide endlessly across generations. This does not occur for the vast majority of other cells in the body. In order to become “immortal”, 95% of cancer cells hack the telomerase gene and turn it on endlessly.
Studies have proven that some cancer patients can show a natural immune response to telomerase, and, yet, this has no consequences on their healthy cells. In fact, the concerned patients even fought back cancer more easily than other patients. From this discovery, some biotech companies have worked on a solution to develop this immune response to all patients.
Invectys flagship product INVAC-1 is a therapeutic vaccine,