CureVac’s mRNA Therapy is Working Against Prostate Cancer

08/07/2015 - 2 minutes

mRNA based immunotherapies are no pipe dream anymore. Germany’s CureVac just presented encouraging results of its Phase IIa clinical study. The firm’s lead mRNA candidate CV9103 is well tolerated and immunogenic in patients with prostate cancer. Based on the favorable data, CureVac initiated a Phase IIb study with a follower prostate cancer vaccine.

Just recently, CureVac published promising data of its RNArt technology platform that demonstrated, for the first time ever, that sequence-optimized, chemically unmodified mRNAs raised relevant protein levels in non-human primates.

Now, they could apply this biological effect to target four antigens that are overexpressed in prostate cancer, inducing an enhanced immune system response. In 76% of patients suffering from advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer, a cellular immune response against all four antigens could be detected. Common treatment-related side effects were injection site erythema and injection site reaction in 61% and 48% of the patients respectively. All in all, the drug showed a good tolerance.

The European Vaccine Prize’s winner stays ambitious about its portfolio:

“Prostate cancer remains our most advanced program, with the Phase IIb clinical trial progressing as planned, but CureVac also possesses a deep and diverse mRNA-driven pipeline spanning six clinical trials with more than 300 individuals treated so far and about 15 programs targeting multiple treatment opportunities and disease indications.”

CureVacs approach demonstrates once more that mRNA based immunotherapy has the potential to provide a versatile target for protein therapies. And moreover, CureVacs’ approach has the potential to beat Moderna’s chemically modified mRNA, as they have shown in their previous study!

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