Sunday, 16 June, 2024
HomeResearch IssuesCancer jab might be ready by 2030, say Pfizer/BioNTech scientists

Cancer jab might be ready by 2030, say Pfizer/BioNTech scientists

A vaccine against cancer could be ready by 2030, says the team behind the successful Pfizer/BioNTech COVID jab, who have worked to pioneer cancer immunotherapies tailored to individual patients.

The German couple, professors Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, who founded the pharmaceutical company together in 2008, were hesitant to say they can find a cure for cancer, but said they have had “breakthroughs” on which they continue working.

They said the development and success of their COVID-19 vaccine, rolled out across the globe during the pandemic “gives back to our cancer work”, reports The Independent.

Their use of mRNA technology came into its own during the pandemic, and they said that experience has helped to spur on their work.

While conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of a virus, mRNAs use only a virus’ genetic code. An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body, where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens that are then recognised by the immune system, preparing it to fight the disease.

Asked when cancer vaccines might be available, Sahin said it could happen “before 2030”.

Tureci told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme: “What we have developed over decades for cancer vaccine development has been the tailwind for developing the COVID-19 vaccine, and now that vaccine and our experience in developing it gives back to our cancer work.

“We have learned how to better, faster manufacture vaccines. We have learned in a large number of people how the immune system reacts towards mRNA.”

She said the developments have also helped regulators learn about mRNA vaccines and how to deal with them.

Taking a positive yet cautious approach, Tureci said: “As scientists, we are always hesitant to say we will have a cure for cancer. We have a number of breakthroughs and we will continue to work on them.”

In August, Moderna said it was suing BioNTech and its partner, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, for patent infringement over the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Asked about that, Sahin said: “Our innovations are original. We have spent 20 years of research in developing this type of treatment and of course, we will fight for our intellectual property.”

 

The Independent article – Cancer vaccine could be ready by 2030, scientists behind Covid jab say (Open access)

 

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