CureVac Partners with MyNEO to Identify Novel Antigen Targets for MRNA-Based Cancer Vaccine Development
CureVac is broadening its foundation in oncology, leveraging recent progress with its second-generation mRNA backbone.
The partnership combines CureVac's mRNA technology with myNEO's platform for the discovery and selection of tumor antigens predicted to elicit strong immune responses.
Together with myNEO, CureVac aims to identify specific antigens for the development of novel mRNA cancer vaccines.
TÜBINGEN, Germany / GHENT, Belgium – May 25, 2022
CureVac N.V. (Nasdaq: CVAC), a global biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (“mRNA”), and myNEO N.V., a Belgium-based immunotherapy company, today announced that they have entered into a research and option agreement. Under the agreement, both companies aim to identify specific antigens found on the surface of tumors for the development of novel mRNA immunotherapies. To achieve this goal, myNEO will leverage its biological datasets and its integrated machine learning and bioinformatics platform to identify and validate specific antigen targets predicted to elicit a strong immune response.
“We are translating our mRNA technology insights and learnings to create value in oncology,” said Antony Blanc, Chief Business Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of CureVac. “myNEO's state-of-the-art predictive approach to analyze tumor and normal genetic data inputs from multiple sources, perfectly complements our mRNA technology as we advance the development of novel cancer vaccines. Through this collaboration, we prepare to build a strong pipeline in oncology and accelerate growth beyond our progress in prophylactic vaccines.”
myNEO utilizes a broad range of underlying genomic alterations to identify constantly emerging, novel classes of antigens of defined tumor types. The immunogenicity of identified antigens is predicted using proprietary algorithms, machine and deep learning methods and an extensive database containing data on tumor specific mutations. Incorporating new ranking methodologies based on tumor cell antigen processing and presentation allows for selection of antigens with the highest confidence of success for potential clinical testing.
“CureVac is a front-runner in the mRNA technology ecosystem, and its use for the development of therapeutic cancer vaccines has shown great promise,” said Cedric Bogaert, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of myNEO. “We're convinced that combining our innovative neoantigen target identification and selection methods with mRNA technology holds great potential for immunotherapies, and CureVac was the logical choice for us to further validate this avenue. Supplementing our own developments with this collaboration will allow us to benefit from CureVac's years of experience and know-how, and to create a significant impact on the immunotherapy domain.”
CureVac is a global biopharmaceutical company in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, with more than 20 years of expertise in developing, optimizing, and manufacturing this versatile biological molecule for medical purposes. The principle of CureVac's proprietary technology is the use of optimized mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a broad range of diseases. In July 2020, CureVac entered in a collaboration with GSK to jointly develop new products in prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases based on CureVac's second-generation mRNA technology. This collaboration was later extended to the development of second-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidates, and modified mRNA vaccine technologies. Based on its proprietary technology, CureVac has built a deep clinical pipeline across the areas of prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies, and the treatment of rare diseases. CureVac had its initial public offering on the New York Nasdaq in August 2020. It is headquartered in Tübingen, Germany, and employs more than 900 people at its sites in Tübingen, Frankfurt, and Boston, USA. Further information can be found at www.curevac.com.
myNEO is a Belgian biotech company that focuses on the development of immunotherapies finetuned against the tumour of cancer patients. The core technology to its clinical development is an advanced data analysis platform that allows to rapidly screen immuno-genomic datasets from enrolled patients and their tumours. Data-driven neural networks trained on gathered biological datasets enable to identify impactful tumor alterations and neoantigens as targets for immunotherapies, to finetune patient inclusion criteria, and define early biomarkers for potential response. The growing company was founded by biotech entrepreneurs Cedric Bogaert, together with Professor Wim Van Criekinge and Jan Van den Berghe. Professor MD Kris Thielemans, a pioneer in the field of immunotherapy, Mark Vaeck, founder and former CEO of biopharmaceutical company Ablynx, and Bert Coessens, founder and former COO of Cartagenia, are also involved. Read more at: www.myneo.me