(CTN News) – Moderna and Merck & Co. announced on Monday that they have initiated a phase III trial for their personalized mRNA cancer treatment, V940, in conjunction with the widely-used drug Keytruda. This trial is specifically targeting patients with a form of lung cancer.
V940 falls under the category of m-RNA-based individualized neoantigen therapy (INT), which is designed to create T-cells, an integral component of the body’s immune response, based on the unique mutational characteristics of a tumor.
Dr. Marjorie Green, the senior vice president and head of late-stage oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, emphasized the urgent need for scientific advancements in combating lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
The collaboration between KEYTRUDA and V940 (mRNA-4157) represents a promising new approach for treating non-small cell lung cancer at earlier stages when patients have a higher likelihood of achieving positive outcomes.
Kyle Holen, M.D., Moderna’s Senior Vice President and Head of Development, Therapeutics, and Oncology, emphasized the intricate nature of addressing lung cancer, which involves the ongoing battle between medical advancements and the complex biology of the disease.
He highlighted that each patient’s cancer is characterized by a unique combination of genetic mutations, necessitating a personalized approach to treatment.
This approach involves the production of individualized medicines tailored to the distinct molecular tumor profile of each patient.
Dr. Holen expressed his belief that individualized neoantigen therapy could catalyze innovation, propelling us toward the next frontier of cancer care. He expressed gratitude towards the patients, investigators, and clinical trial sites for their invaluable contribution to this mission.
In addition to the previously announced INTerpath-002 trial, there is ongoing investigation into the combination of V940 (mRNA-4157) and KEYTRUDA in the INTerpath-001 trial.
Formerly known as V940-001, this global Phase 3 trial is double-blind, placebo- and active-comparator-controlled, and aims to evaluate approximately 1,089 patients with resected high-risk melanoma (Stage IIB-IV).
INTerpath-001 is currently screening patients in 14 countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
The comprehensive clinical development program for V940 (mRNA-4157) is set to expand to include additional tumor types.