Moderna – Merc: Vaccine with mRNA technology reduces risk of relapse or death in melanoma patients by 44%

by
Moderna – Merc: Vaccine with mRNA technology reduces risk of relapse or death in melanoma patients by 44%

The two companies are preparing to move to Phase 3

Moderna and Merck are preparing to move into Phase 3 trials of a cancer vaccine based on mRNA technology for the first time, after a previous smaller study showed it boosted patients’ chances of surviving an aggressive type of skin cancer.

According to the Financial Times, data published by Moderna on Tuesday showed that a combination of the company’s experimental cancer vaccine and Merck’s Keytruda immunotherapy drug reduced the risk of melanoma dying or coming back in high-risk patients by 44% compared with the treatment where only Keytruda was used.

The randomized phase 2 trial enrolled 157 patients who had already undergone melanoma-related surgery and followed them for one year. Some participants received nine doses of the cancer vaccine, codenamed mRNA-4157/V940, along with Keytruda. Others were given only Keytruda, which is the standard treatment for high-risk melanoma.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive, said the results encouraged Merck and Moderna to start a larger trial moving to Phase 3 that regulators tend to require before approving a new treatment.

However, the vast majority of drugs that succeed in phase 2 studies then fail in the next stage of testing.

The companies will also test the combination in other types of cancer. “We think this should work in many tumor types, not just melanoma,” Bancel said in an interview.

Scientists have long studied the possibility of using mRNA technology – which is best known for the successful development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

You May Also Like

Recommended for you

Immediate Peak