Moderna, in partnership with Merck, has released updated data from an ongoing early-stage trial of their innovative cancer treatment. The newly announced results contribute to the growing evidence supporting the effectiveness of the drug.
Building upon the initial findings shared by Merck and Moderna last December, which were subsequently presented at a scientific conference in April, the companies reported that patients with advanced melanoma who received the Moderna treatment alongside Merck’s Keytruda immunotherapy drug experienced a reduced risk of disease recurrence or death compared to those who received Keytruda alone. These favorable results have now been bolstered by additional data collected after three years of follow-up.
The combination therapy consisting of the Moderna treatment and Keytruda has continued to demonstrate improved survival rates, reaffirming its potential as a powerful weapon against cancer. Investors have been particularly optimistic about this groundbreaking treatment, known as mRNA-4157, as evidenced by the significant 19.6% increase in Moderna’s stock price upon the initial announcement of the results last December.
mRNA-4157 is unique in that it is tailored to each individual recipient based on the genetic characteristics of their tumor. However, it shares the same design as Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. The treatment employs mRNA-4157 to guide patients’ T-cells in attacking cancerous tumors, while Keytruda enhances their immune system response.
This cancer treatment marks a pivotal development in Moderna’s long-term strategy beyond the pandemic. With Covid-19 vaccine sales greatly diminished this year, the success of this therapeutic intervention opens up exciting possibilities for applications of Moderna’s messenger RNA-based technology beyond respiratory virus vaccines, further diversifying its product pipeline.
Overall, Moderna’s commitment to advancing personalized cancer treatment shows great promise and could significantly improve outcomes for patients facing this formidable disease.
Moderna’s mRNA-4157 Shows Promising Results in Combination with Keytruda
Moderna, a leading biotechnology company, recently released new data that demonstrates the effectiveness of its mRNA-4157 cancer shot in combination with Keytruda. The CEO of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, emphasized the significance of these findings, stating that the statistical calculations indicate a remarkable improvement. He dismisses any notion of randomness, insisting that the results are real.
According to Moderna, the combination of mRNA-4157 and Keytruda resulted in a 49% reduction in the risk of recurrence or death after three years compared to Keytruda alone. Additionally, when compared to Keytruda alone, the combination therapy showed a remarkable 62% decrease in the risk of developing distant metastasis or death.
Although details about the number of patients involved in the trial were not disclosed, some analysts have previously expressed concerns about the trial’s size. Regardless, both Merck and Moderna have initiated Phase 3 trials of mRNA-4157 in tandem with Keytruda. Bancel revealed that Moderna is also diligently working on its new manufacturing plant in Marlborough, Mass., which will be exclusively dedicated to producing commercial doses of their cancer shot.
Encouragingly, Bancel believes that the new data could potentially lead to conditional approval for mRNA-4157 before the completion of the ongoing Phase 3 trials, as it increases regulators’ confidence in the treatment’s effectiveness. He expressed optimism about enrolling the Phase 3 melanoma trial completely by the second half of next year. If all goes well, an accelerated launch of the drug could be expected as early as 2025.