Belgian Biotech Gets €1M Grant to Boost its mRNA Cancer Immunotherapies
Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship has given eTheRNA a €1M grant to further improve its TriMix mRNA cancer therapies.
eTheRNA has been awarded the €1M industrial R&D projects grant by Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The company’s technology uses mRNA that stimulates the immune system to effectively treat cancer, giving rise to long-lasting remission in patients. It will use the grant to optimize the production process for its mRNA components, which will reduce production time and costs.
eTheRNA’s TriMix technology combines three mRNAs that encode tumour-specific antigens that strongly activate dendritic cells of the immune system, to increase T cell immunity. Compelling initial data prompted a Phase Ib clinical trial in melanoma patients, which started in June 2017, and further studies are scheduled for the next 12 months.
By using mRNA technology to treat cancer, the company joins BioNTech, which is developing mRNA-based personalized vaccines that could target all forms of cancer. Moderna is also working on a personalized mRNA approach but remains at the pre-clinical stage. CureVac tested its mRNA vaccine against prostate cancer in a Phase II study earlier this year, but it failed to improve overall survival.
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