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Merck and Moderna Discuss Possible Skin Cancer Vaccine Development

By 12/13/2022 8:16 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

After the manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine provided an update on the development of a vaccine to prevent a lethal kind of skin cancer, Moderna’s stock went up on Tuesday.

The business reported that a small study of individuals who had the disease surgically removed showed promising results for a potential melanoma vaccine it is researching alongside pharmaceutical behemoth Merck.

According to the drugmakers, the vaccine plus Merck’s treatment Keytruda improved patients’ chances of surviving before their metastatic melanoma recurred by a statistically significant amount.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday morning, “We are really excited and moving very swiftly with Merck towards phase 3 for this trial.

Before regulators consider approving a potential medicine, phase 3 clinical testing is typically the lengthiest and most expensive step.

One of the most widely used vaccines for COVID-19 protection was created by Moderna, and sales of its Spikevax helped the pharmaceutical company earn more than $3 billion in the third quarter of this year.

However, vaccination rates have decreased, and Spikevax provides almost all of Moderna’s revenue.

The prospective skin cancer vaccine makes use of mRNA technology, like Spikevax.

It hones the immune system of a patient to identify and particularly react to mutations in the DNA of the patient’s tumor.

Researchers contrasted the vaccine-Keytruda combination with Keytruda alone in a mid-stage clinical trial including 157 patients.

The best-selling drug from Merck, Keytruda, prepares the body’s immune system to recognize and eliminate tumor cells.

It is permitted to treat a variety of cancers by regulators.

According to the pharmaceutical companies, there was a 44% lower chance of death or cancer recurrence in the patient group who took Keytruda and the possible vaccine.

Unless the disease returned or the adverse effects worsened, both groups had treatments for around a year.

In addition to beginning phase 3 research the following year, Merck and Moderna say they want to apply their strategy to several tumor types.

In 2016, Merck and Moderna agreed to collaborate and intend to split costs and revenues from their joint venture.

Additionally, Merck gave Moderna $250 million.

In lunchtime trading, shares of Moderna Inc., a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, jumped 23% to reach $200 while broader indices rose. Merck & Co., situated in Kenilworth, New Jersey, increased by less than 1%.


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