A new agreement to investigate a therapeutic mRNA vaccine for the treatment of lung cancer was announced today between Boehringer Ingelheim and CureVac, a leader company in mRNA-based drug development.
Starting with two different profiles of lung cancer, advanced/metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and unresectable stage III NSCLC, Boehringer Ingelheim will investigate the therapeutical role of CureVac’s mRNA vaccine, CV9202. Patients in the clinical trial will receive CV9202 together with afatinib (for patients with EGFR- NSCLC) or chemo-radiation therapy (for patients with stage III NSCLC).
Boehringer Ingelheim has a long-term commitment to find novel cancer therapies. Afatinib, commercialized in the US as Gilotrif®, is an approved once-a-day kinase inhibitor (inhibiting irreversibly the EGFR family of receptors ErbB1, ErbB2 and ErbB4). It is the first-line treatment of patients with EGFR-mutation positive metastatic NSCLC (with EGFR exon 19 deleted or exon 21 substitution mutations). Additionally, Boehringer Ingelheim has been investigating two investigational compounds in Phase III clinical development, nintedanib in NSCLC and colorectal cancer, and volasertib in acute myeloid leukemia.
Professor Klaus Dugi, Chief Medical Officer, Boehringer Ingelheim noted, “At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are proud of our commitment to help improve the treatment of cancers with a high medical need. In our collaboration with CureVac, we will investigate combining existing treatments with the approach of sustained activation of the immune system. With this, we hope to be able to develop new treatments and further expand our broad pipeline in lung cancer. ”
The co-founder and CEO of CureVac GmbH, Ingmar Hoerr, also commented, “This collaboration is extremely relevant for CureVac because, as a biotech enterprise, we rely on collaboration with strong partners for the clinical development and commercialization of our compounds. Cancer immunotherapy represents one of the biggest innovations in cancer treatment of recent times, and we are delighted to now be working with Boehringer Ingelheim. The out-licensing and clinical development of our promising therapeutic vaccine CV9202 represents the logical next step in developing this novel treatment for cancer patients, and the significant commitment from Boehringer Ingelheim underscores the relevance of the mRNA technology.”