CureVac and MD Anderson Partner to Develop Cancer Vaccines

22.04.2024 - Biopharmaceutical company CureVac has announced a co-development and licensing agreement with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop novel mRNA-based cancer vaccines.

By merging CureVac’s end-to-end capabilities in cancer antigen discovery and mRNA design with MD Anderson’s expertise in the same field and clinical research, the collaboration aims to develop unique cancer vaccines for hematological and solid tumor indications with high unmet medical need.

“We look forward to collaborating with the team at MD Anderson to push the boundaries of mRNA technology and develop impactful therapeutic options for patients in need,” said Alexander Zehnder, Chief Executive Officer of CureVac. “In combining our respective expertise, we believe we can go further and faster to develop novel, off-the-shelf, mRNA-based cancer vaccines that have the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes.”

Both parties will contribute to the identification of differentiated cancer antigens based on whole genome sequencing, combined with long- and short-read RNA sequencing and cutting-edge bioinformatics. Following the selection of the most promising validated vaccine candidates and completion of Investigational New Drug (IND) approvals, MD Anderson will be responsible for conducting initial Phase 1/2 studies in appropriate clinical indications.

"Our Eclipse team uses proprietary high-throughput technology to identify and validate immune targets, and we are driven to advance impactful immunotherapies with the potential to transform the lives of patients with cancer,” said Jeffrey Molldrem, leader of the Eclipse platform at MD Anderson. “Together with CureVac, we hope to embrace this exciting area of drug discovery and development in pursuit of mRNA vaccines that will address significant unmet medical need.”

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, CureVac and MD Anderson will jointly contribute to and support the development of those programs designated to move forward. CureVac has worldwide exclusive rights to late-stage development, commercialization, or partnering of cancer vaccine candidates. MD Anderson is eligible for certain downstream payments based on potential future commercialization.


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