eTheRNA Immunotherapies, a clinical-stage company developing mRNA-based immunotherapies as off-the-shelf products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases, has announced the award of a TIGER grant of €6.9 million from the EU commission.
The grant was awarded to a consortium led by eTheRNA and will be used to accelerate the development of a novel, potentially best-in-class therapeutic mRNA cancer vaccine for treating recurrent/metastatic Human Papillomavirus strain 16 positive (HPV16+) cancers such as head and neck cancer, cervical cancer and anogenital cancer.
eTheRNA’s mission is to develop mRNA-based immunotherapies as off-the-shelf products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases through its next generation mRNA vaccines development platform and its in-house manufacturing.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) are the sixth leading cause of cancer worldwide. Early data suggests mRNA may play a key role in treating cancers and autoimmune diseases with potential mRNA market of approximately U$37 billion in 2030.
The Phase I/IIa trial for the mRNA vaccine will be administered either as a stand-alone therapy or supplementary to PD-1 inhibitor standard of care. Safety, immunogenicity and clinical activity are the key endpoints of the clinical program. Biomarker and Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) research conducted in parallel with the study will facilitate future, informed therapeutic and care decisions by both patients and care teams. The mRNA cancer vaccine will be optimised for intravenous (IV) administration.
Safety and efficacy of the IV mRNA lipid nanoparticle (LNP) product has already been demonstrated in preclinical development studies. Furthermore, eTheRNA has proven the safety and efficacy of its mRNA cancer vaccines in previous clinical trials, albeit with the mRNA vaccine delivered via different routes of administration.
Marina Cools, VP of Clinical Development at eTheRNA, said: “eTheRNA and its collaborators welcome the award of this grant. In addition to HPV, this collaboration will investigate the possibility of applying mRNA technologies to the treatment of other cancer indications with poorly met medical needs.”
Collaborators include: Amsterdam UMC, BiotechSubsidy, Ceratium B.V., eTheRNA immunotherapies, European Cancer Patient Coalition, Radiomics, SAGA Diagnostics AB and Saint-Luc University Clinics.