The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has yielded an unexpected advancement in the pharmaceutical industry with the approval of the first mRNA vaccines, which GlobalData expects will soon impact other indications.
This historical landmark could have significant implications, primarily in the oncology market since mRNA vaccines were being exclusively investigated in infectious and oncology diseases prior to the pandemic. Historically, mRNA vaccines were of interest in the oncology setting because multiple biomarkers could be targeted by this novel mechanism.
Given the current role of immunotherapies in oncology, mRNA vaccines pose a novel approach to trigger immune reactions against cancer cells. However, the novelty of mRNA vaccines has raised regulatory and manufacturing questions in addition to clinical limitations.
Covid-19 approvals showcase potential of mRNA vaccines
The recent approvals of Pfizer / BioNTech’s and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines in healthy patients, complemented by the historically unmatched magnitude to reach healthy patients worldwide, has helped surpass many barriers for mRNA vaccines while highlighting this novel mechanism of action. GlobalData expects this will propagate a new epicenter of interest in pursuing this drug class in oncology.
Currently, there are 44 ongoing clinical trials exploring mRNA vaccines, of which 23 are investigating infectious diseases. This includes Covid-19, which accounts for 60% of those clinical trials. Interestingly, only four out of the 44 clinical trials have made it to Phase III as a result of the sudden and immense demand to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
From an oncology viewpoint, the current pandemic will still serve to provide essential real-world data about the tolerability and effects of mRNA vaccines, since despite their approval and initial vaccination rollout, the long-term efficacy and side effects are still to be understood. As more data are gathered on these vaccines, GlobalData expects an increasing interest in bringing them into the oncology sector.
Key opinion leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData have repeatedly shown interest in novel mechanisms of action, particularly in immunotherapy. Prior to the pandemic, mRNA vaccines were one of many promising drug classes that were being explored equally with each other, with no expectation about which would be the next to impact the market. However, the sudden rise of mRNA vaccines makes it a prime candidate since there is a current spotlight on this drug class.
A supporting argument for the interest in mRNA vaccines is that out of the 21 ongoing non-infectious disease clinical trials that are exploring mRNA vaccines, all are being developed for oncology indications. Of these 21 trials, only seven are in Phase II, which demonstrates the relatively early stage of mRNA vaccines in oncology. Interestingly, the most represented company in these clinical trials is BioNTech, with seven of the 21 trials, followed by Roche/Genentech with three clinical trials and Moderna Inc with two clinical trials.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
With more than 18 months of the pandemic in the rearview mirror, researchers have been steadily gathering new and important insights into the effects of COVID-19 on the body and brain. These findings are raising concerns [...]
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered life expectancy losses not seen since World War II in Western Europe and exceeded those observed around the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc in central and Eastern European countries, according [...]
Within a day of testing positive for covid-19 in June, Miranda Kelly was sick enough to be scared. At 44, with diabetes and high blood pressure, Kelly, a certified nursing assistant, was having trouble [...]
A technology developed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has led to the discovery of an "ultra-potent" monoclonal antibody against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, including the delta variant. The antibody [...]
Research has found a significant fall in levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 6 months after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Clinical evidence also suggests that the risk [...]
Are the COVID vaccines substantially different from/inferior to other vaccines in terms of their effectiveness? The issue raised, and I'm mostly paraphrasing here, is this: Most vaccines (e.g. measles, smallpox) have efficacy defined such [...]
The EVONANO platform allows scientists to grow virtual tumors and use artificial intelligence to automatically optimize the design of nanoparticles to treat them. The ability to grow and treat virtual tumors is an [...]
Modern Approaches to Augmentation of Brain Function Available from Springer Press This book covers recent advances in neural technology that provide for enhancements for brain function. It addresses a broad range of neural phenomena [...]
Although the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, limited manufacturing capacity and the need for cold-chain storage hinder their global distribution. A recent study tested the efficacy of a new adeno-associated virus (AAV) [...]
Fully vaccinated people were 11 times less likely to die of COVID and 10 times less likely to be hospitalized compared to the unvaccinated since highly contagious Delta became the most common variant, US [...]
The highly-infectious Delta coronavirus variant has spread to at least 174 countries worldwide, from the US to Australia, causing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The variant has mutations that help it partially escape the immune response produced by [...]
Fragile mRNA molecules used in COVID-19 vaccines can’t get into cells on their own. They owe their success to lipid nanoparticles that took decades to refine. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is having a moment. This [...]
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical knowledge gaps and assumptions concerning how respiratory viruses spread between hosts. Traditionally thought to be spread mainly through large respiratory droplets produced by the coughs and sneezes of sick individuals, [...]
SARS-CoV-2 is just one of nonillions of viruses on our planet, and scientists are rapidly identifying legions of new species. Mya Breitbart has hunted novel viruses in African termite mounds, Antarctic seals and water [...]