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NHS launches personalised mRNA cancer vaccines trial

The NHS has commenced a clinical trial offering personalised cancer vaccines being developed by BioNTech and Genentech to patients. The first patient was treated with a bespoke vaccine for bowel cancer at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

This trial is part of NHS England’s Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad initiative.

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BioNTech is sponsoring the colorectal cancer vaccine trial.

The company will present preliminary data, highlighting the potential of circulating tumour DNA in the early detection of colorectal cancer.

The vaccine being trialled utilises mRNA technology, similar to that of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and is tailored to the individual’s cancer mutations.

Thousands of patients are expected to benefit from the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad, which facilitates fast-tracked access to clinical trials at nearby participating hospitals.

Patients undergo a cancer tissue sample and blood test to determine trial eligibility.

The investigational vaccines aim to induce an immune response to prevent cancer recurrence post-surgery.

These vaccines are still in trial phases and await regulatory approval.

For the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad, 30 hospitals in England have joined, with more to follow.

The initiative will collaborate with pharmaceutical partners to offer trials for various cancer types, including pancreatic and lung cancer.

While trials have already begun, the majority of patient enrolment is anticipated from 2026.

The UK government has committed to providing up to 10,000 patients with precision cancer immunotherapies by 2030, with BioNTech conducting clinical trials in the UK and the NHS launch pad expediting patient identification for these trials.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Thanks to advances in care and treatment, cancer survival is at an all-time high in this country, but these vaccine trials could one day offer us a way of vaccinating people against their own cancer to help save more lives.

“The NHS is in a unique position to deliver this kind of world-leading research at size and scale, and as more of these trials get up and running at hospitals across the country, our national match-making service will ensure as many eligible patients as possible get the opportunity to access them.”

mRNA vaccine coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology (Or Clinical Trials Arena)  is supported by Trilink. Editorial content is independently produced and follows the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Topic sponsors are not involved in the creation of editorial content.

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