In animal experiments by Biontech, the cancer in mice regresses completely. Is there a breakthrough? Studies on humans should now show that.
Kassel – The Mainz biotechnology company Biontech achieved worldwide fame and great commercial success with its mRNA vaccine * against Corona *. But the company was originally founded for a different reason: CEO Ugur Sahin and co-founder Özlem Türeci want to develop therapies with an mRNA vaccine against cancer * and fight the widespread disease.
In an animal experiment, Biontech researchers led by Ugur Sahin and Christian Hotz tried to stop tumors with mRNA molecules – with success. The experts injected the active ingredients directly into the tumors of mice. As a result, the tumor growth stopped, and in many animals the growths regressed completely, according to a report in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Biontech’s mRNA cocktail is effective against cancer in mice
“The study provides an example of how mRNA can be used as a tool,” said cancer and immunotherapy specialist Niels Halama from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg about Biontech’s work, in which he was not involved. The study used a mixture of mRNA that mediates the production of four cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that regulate the growth of cells. They are known to play a role in cancer therapy.
The cancer completely regressed in 17 out of 20 mice treated with the mRNA. Tumors that were difficult to reach, such as those in the lungs, also shrank. Side effects could not be observed in the animals, instead that the survival time of the rodents increased.
Biontech mRNA against cancer: the way to use it in humans still have some hurdles
“The way to application in humans still has some hurdles, the approach must of course also work in humans as it does in animals. This is not guaranteed with the differences in the immune system between mice and humans and the authors also point out in their work that there can still be problems, ”says Halama. After the animal experiments, the researchers at Biontech now want to conduct a clinical study on humans.
The company told Bild-Zeitung that the first studies on a few people are already running with the cancer active ingredient. Here, a small group of people is observed to see whether the mRNA cocktail causes side effects or even symptoms of intoxication in the body.
Biontech mRNA against cancer: Ugur Sahin is number 1 for many hopes
When it comes to cancer treatments, Biontech founder Ugur Sahin is for many people the greatest hope that currently exists in medicine. “When we founded Biontech in 2008, we asked ourselves a fundamental question: If each patient’s tumor is unique, why do we treat all patients equally? We saw immense potential in harnessing the unique profile of a tumor.
The aim was to enable the patient’s immune system to localize the specific cancer cells, to address them and to attack the tumor, “said the head of the pharmaceutical company, which is now worth over 70 billion euros on the stock exchange due to the success of the vaccine is. (tvd) * hna.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.