Amazon and Fred Hutch team up on cancer vaccine trial

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Cindy Shebley
© GettyImages/Cindy Shebley

Related tags Cancer vaccine metastatic melanoma neoantigen mRNA

Amazon is partnering with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on a Phase I trial for a cancer vaccine targeting metastatic melanoma and breast cancer.

The partnership was first reporter on Business Insider.

In an emailed statement to BioPharma-Reporter, the Seattle-based center confirmed the collaboration saying:

“Fred Hutch is working with Amazon to explore the development of a personalized treatment for certain forms of cancer. Fred Hutch recently received permission from the US Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a Phase I clinical trial, which is now underway.

“It is very early in a long, multi-year process, and success is by no means guaranteed. The program is an important example of how Fred Hutch works with collaborators to develop new therapies.”

The study details are outlined in Clinical

The phase I trial is evaluating the safety of a personalized neo-antigen peptide vaccine in treating patients with stage IIIC-IV melanoma or hormone receptor positive Her2 negative breast cancer that has spread to other places in the body or does not respond to treatment.

The vaccine combines multiple patient specific neo-antigens. Giving a personalized neo-antigen peptide vaccine together with Th1 polarizing adjuvant poly ICLC may induce a polyclonal, poly-epitope, cytolytic T cell immunity against the patient's tumor, reads the trial outline.

Fred Hutch is listed as a sponsor of the study, with Amazon as a collaborator.

Amazon is contributing scientific and machine learning expertise to a partnership with Fred Hutch to explore the development of a personalized treatment for certain forms of cancer,”​ an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC.

Cancer vaccine R&D

Several other pharma companies are active in the cancer vaccine space.

Moderna is looking to optimize its mRNA technology for the development of personalized mRNA-based vaccines for cancer.

Norway’s Nykode Therapeutics is focused on DNA-based technology for both off-the-shelf and individualized cancer vaccine developments for both HPV and solid tumor indications. Last year saw it enter into a license and collaboration agreement with US company, Regeneron, to develop vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases.

A partnership with myNEO, announced in May this year, represents the first step in German company CureVac’s targeted expansion of its mRNA approach for the development of cancer vaccines.

In January 2022, USA-based Genocea Biosciences announced it was teaming up with Janssen in an R&D collaboration to explore the immunogenicity of neoantigens and the role and impact of inhibigens in the context of vaccine therapies for cancer.

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