One of the most stubborn, deadly cancers is pancreatic cancer. What if individualized mRNA vaccinations could support the immune system’s defense?
One of the deadliest forms of cancer around, pancreatic cancer is estimated to kill 88% of patients. It’s also one of the most recurrent cancers, with roughly 90% of patients experiencing a relapse within seven to nine months after surgery.
Fortunately, a recent study of an mRNA vaccine for pancreatic cancer patients has provided a glimpse of hope.
Scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York just published the results of a small study that the group conducted in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech on pancreatic cancer patients over several years.
The study used a pancreatic cancer mRNA vaccine tailored to each patient’s tumor to potentially help provoke an immune response.
What’s revolutionary about the vaccines is that the German scientists tailored them to the mutated proteins on the surface of cancer cells instead of a mix of tumor and normal cells, which has been the method tried for decades.
The cells were extracted from patients’ tumors by researchers at Memorial Sloan and sent to BioNTech, the company that created the highly-effective COVID-19 vaccine alongside Pfizer.
Among the participants in the study, half of the patients’ immune systems learned how to recognize and fight off the cancer cells and showed no signs of relapse during the 18 months they were tracked.
While promising, personalized mRNA cancer vaccines are still in their infancy and are too costly to be broadly used.
Right now, regular cancer screening remains the best method for detecting cancers, however there are currently no screening tests for pancreatic cancer.
Developing Early Screening Tests for Colon and Pancreatic Cancers
On May 10, Mainz Biomed announced a partnership with Microba Life Sciences for the creation of PancAlert in addition to early colon cancer diagnostics. The technical characteristics of a novel pancreatic cancer screening test with DNA and microbiota indications should be enhanced.
As part of the agreement, the two companies will conduct a pilot research project utilizing Microba’s proprietary metagenomic sequencing technology and bioinformatic tools in an effort to discover novel microbiome biomarkers to detect pancreatic cancer.
The project, which is expected to run until late 2023, will use Microba’s Community Profiler (MCP), a proprietary metagenomic platform technology that has proven to be a best-in-class research tool that can produce comprehensive and accurate species profiles of gastrointestinal samples.
Mainz Biomed (NASDAQ:MYNZ) is also focused on commercializing its flagship product ColoAlert, a highly efficacious and simple-to-use detection test for colorectal cancer (CRC) that is already available in select international territories.
In Q1 2023, the company also launched a corporate health program in Germany by integrating into BGM, a well-established corporate health program that provides services to employees at 48 of the 50 largest companies in Germany.
On May 24, Mainz Biomed announced initial results from its colorectal cancer screening campaign with Zöller-Kipper GmbH through its BGM partnership. In April 2023, Zöller-Kipper selected ColoAlert for its corporate health program, which includes over 2,500 employees.
According to the results, employees found the online patient portal easy-to-use and convenient and were able to readily access the portal, request a kit and securely receive results within five days.
In order to process the ColoAlert PCR test kit, Mainz Biomed has added Eurofins GeLaMed to its network of lab partners. Eurofins GeLaMed is a division of the global laboratory company Eurofins Scientific, which conducts 450 million tests annually and has over 61,000 employees in 61 nations. Germany is home to four of its locations.
Advancing Towards FDA Approval to Bring ColoAlert to the US Market
Over the last few months, Mainz Biomed has continued to prepare for patient enrollment in its pivotal clinical trial for ColoAlert after successfully completing its pre-submission process with the FDA.
ColoAlert will be examined in the FDA-registered trial “ReconAAsense” in order to obtain commercial approval in the United States. The company’s business objective is to create scalable distribution across the nation once it receives approval through a cooperative partner program with regional and national laboratory service providers.
Featured Image @ FreePik
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