April 20, 2024

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mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just a by-product of cancer vaccine development

mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just a by-product of cancer vaccine development


mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just a by-product of cancer vaccine development. Aaccident Surprise! The COVID-19 vaccine is just a by-product of cancer vaccine development…


If these clinical trials are ultimately successful, it will be a new drug that will revolutionize cancer treatment: cancer vaccines. 


On December 31, SINOPHARM’s China Biotech COVID-19 Inactivated Vaccine was approved for marketing in China. On the same day, the COVID-19 pneumonia vaccine (Pfizer vaccine) developed by Pfizer-BioNTech was urgently approved for use by the WHO.


Although cancer patients at home and abroad cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine for the time being, the “origin intention” of Pfizer vaccine is to prevent cancer. In other words, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is an “unexpected” product of Pfizer in the development of a cancer vaccine.

Pfizer vaccine is the first mRNA vaccine.





Principle of mRNA vaccine


mRNA is short for messenger RNA, also known as messenger RNA. mRNA is a general term for a large class of RNA molecules, which is responsible for transmitting genetic information from DNA to ribosomes, and then producing proteins encoded by genes on the ribosomes.


In theory, by precisely fine-tuning the synthesized mRNA and injecting it into the human body, any cell in the human body can become a protein drug factory produced on demand.

Because of the unique charm of mRNA technology, scientists have been studying the infinite possibilities of “private customization” of mRNA technology for decades.


 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just a by-product of cancer vaccine development Diagram of mRNA function (Source: Haitong International)


However, there has always been an insurmountable obstacle to the application of mRNA technology, that is, synthetic mRNA usually leads to an immune response, that is, the body’s immune system detects invaders and launches a counterattack to eliminate these invaders.

This “mechanism” has inspired scientists: mRNA technology can be used to develop vaccines. The application of mRNA technology to develop vaccines has advantages that traditional technology cannot match.


The mRNA vaccine is a vaccine product based on the mRNA sequence corresponding to the pathogen antigen protein and delivered to human cells through different delivery methods.

After translation, the antigen protein is produced and the body’s specific immune response is triggered.

Compared with other traditional vaccine technologies, the biggest advantage of mRNA vaccines is that they can be quickly developed and prepared, and no specific virus strain is required. Only the gene sequence of the virus can be reversely synthesized.



Principles of cancer vaccines

The original intention of mRNA technology innovation is to develop anti-cancer vaccines.

The principle is to encapsulate mRNA encoding common cancer antigens in nano-liposomes and inject them intravenously into tumor patients, thereby producing tumor antigens that can stimulate the body’s anti-cancer immune response and awaken sleeping or cancer patients.

The immune lethality of cell maiming, thereby ultimately killing cancer cells.


The advantage of using mRNA technology to develop a cancer vaccine is that it can easily express more than 20 tumor antigens at the same time, and it is especially suitable for individualized cancer treatment, because even a small tumor tissue sample can collect all antigen information , So as to customize tumor vaccines for individuals.


However, because tumors are much more complicated diseases than viral infections, the use of mRNA technology in cancer vaccine research and development has not been able to make breakthrough progress.


Nevertheless, mRNA technology is still recognized by scientists as having great industrial transformation potential.

Because mRNA enters human cells and begins to be translated into corresponding protein molecules, and these protein molecules can eventually become real therapeutic drugs, which can be used for infectious diseases, cancer immunity and rare disease-related therapies.




The birth of the COVID-19 vaccine

At a time of emergency when the COVID-19 pneumonia is ravaging the United States, mRNA technology has taken the lead in making a major breakthrough in the development of COVID-19 virus vaccines.

Byntec and Moderna have each designed a short sequence of which mRNA can stimulate the immune response of COVID-19 after entering the cell. With 95% and 94.1% effectiveness, respectively, they have been approved by the FDA for emergency use.




Cancer vaccine progress


One of the developers of Pfizer Vaccines, Biancotai, was the first company to introduce mRNA personalized tumor vaccines into the clinic.

The BNT122 cancer vaccine for metastatic melanoma jointly developed with Roche Pharmaceuticals has started phase II clinical trials.


According to a clinical trial published in the journal Nature in July 2020, among 89 patients with refractory and metastatic malignant melanoma who failed the treatment of PD-1 antibody and CTLA-4 antibody, 25 patients received individual mRNA vaccine treatment Among the 17 patients who received the mRNA vaccine combined with PD-1 antibody treatment, the tumors of 6 patients were significantly reduced.

In addition, its multiple myeloma indications have also entered the phase I clinical stage.



mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just a by-product of cancer vaccine development


mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just a by-product of cancer vaccine development
Tumor changes and imaging examination changes of 2 successfully treated patients


Five months later, Modona announced in December 2020 that the latest data from its clinical trial code-named KEYNOTE-603 confirmed that its new cancer vaccine mRNA-4157 combined with Keytruda can shrink a variety of advanced solid tumors. In 10 patients with advanced brain cancer, the overall response rate was 50%.

At the same time, 4 patients had stable disease and the disease control rate (DCR) reached 90%. It is worth mentioning that mRNA-4157 is an individualized tumor vaccine tailored for each tumor patient.

Current clinical data show that the combination of mRNA-4157 vaccine and PD1 has shown great anti-cancer potential in a variety of solid tumors.


If these clinical trials are ultimately successful, it will be a new drug that will revolutionize cancer treatment: cancer vaccines.

The CEO of Bayenkotai stated in an interview in early January 2021 that he expects to see the first cancer mRNA vaccine on the market within 2022.


It is reported that in addition to the mRNA vaccines of these two companies, clinical trials of new technologies such as DNA vaccines, neoantigen cancer vaccines, and some traditional technology vaccines are also in progress, and initially demonstrated exciting results.

We look forward to the early publication of this revolutionary new drug, which will enable humanity to overcome cancer even more powerfully.







(source:internet, reference only)

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