UK government partners with BioNTech to provide mRNA cancer therapies

9 January 2023 | Muriel Cozier

‘Our goal is to accelerate the development of immunotherapies and vaccines using technologies we have been researching for over 20 years.’

The UK government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BioNTech by which cancer patients will get early access to trials for personalised mRNA therapies.

The collaboration aims to deliver 10,000 personalised treatments in the UK by 2030 through a new research and development hub, which the government has said will create jobs and ‘strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in global life sciences’. The government added that the partnership will ‘help accelerate clinical trials of personalised immunotherapies for cancer and infectious disease vaccines’.

BioNTech added that the multi-year collaboration will focus on three strategic pillars, these being cancer immunotherapies based on mRNA or other drug classes, infectious diseases vaccines, and investments into expanding BioNTech’s presence in the UK as one of its key markets.

It is anticipated that trials, which will take place through the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad, will begin during September 2023. The Launch Pad, which is being developed by NHS England and Genomics England, will help to rapidly identify patients who could be eligible for trials and ‘explore potential vaccines across multiple types of cancer.’ The partnership will aim to help patients with early and late stage cancers. If successful, cancer vaccines could become part of standard care.

The MoU is said to build on the government’s commitment to increase research and development spending to £20 billion each year. BioNTech’s investment will include establishing a new research and development hub and offices in Cambridge, UK, which is set to employ some 70 scientists. The company also plans to establish regional headquarters in London.

Professor Uğur Şahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech said: ‘This agreement is a result of the lessons learned from the covid-19 pandemic [...] Our goal is to accelerate the development of immunotherapies and vaccines using technologies we have been researching for over 20 years. The collaboration will cover various cancer types and infectious diseases affecting collectively hundreds of millions of people worldwide.’

On 17 April 2023, SCI’s Fine Chemistry Group will be hosting a Medicinal Chemistry Workshop, which will allow delegates to explore various aspects of the drug discovery process.

Show me news from
All themes
All categories
All years
search by