Brussels/Niel (Belgium), 12 February 2019 - VUB, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and eTheRNA immunotherapies, a clinical-stage company developing cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary mRNA-based TriMix platform, announce the recruitment of the first patient for a collaborative TriMix-BRE study to investigate the effect of the TriMix product as neo-adjuvant treatment (treatment before planned surgery) for breast cancer patients. The study will deliver mRNA via intratumoral injection in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer before planned surgery and will recruit patients with resectable breast cancer irrespective of subtype of breast cancer.
Dr. Marian Vanhoeij, Head of the Breast Clinic of the University Hospital, UZ Brussel and principal investigator of this investigator-initiated study: “We are pleased to contribute to the further clinical development of the TriMix-platform, which has been developed at our university and is now the backbone of eTheRNA immunotherapies, a spin-off from the VUB university. While the proof of concept for the TriMix platform has been delivered in multiple studies involving melanoma patients, we are convinced of the potential for TriMix in other therapeutic areas including breast cancer. In the TriMix-BRE study, a total of 36 breast cancer patients will be enrolled at the Brussels university hospital (UZ Brussel). The TriMix product will be administered 3 times in the tumor of the patients before surgical removal or before start of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.”
Bertil Lindmark, CMO of eTheRNA immunotherapies, commented: “This is the first study in which a TriMix therapy for intratumor administration is studied in breast cancer. The proof of concept for our TriMix mRNA platform was established via a dendritic cell infusion approach, where cells are extracted from the patient and then loaded with immunogenic mRNA, after which they are returned into the body. In this study, TriMix is administered in the tumor of breast cancer patients before surgery to determine whether we can elicit a local immune response against the tumor.”
About eTheRNA Immunotherapies
eTheRNA immunotherapies is a clinical-stage company working to deliver innovative cancer immunotherapies from its proprietary mRNA-based TriMix platform. eTheRNA’s goal is to commercialize these immunotherapies to deliver long-lasting clinical remission to a broad range of cancer patients. eTheRNA was established in January 2013 as a spin-off from the VUB university in Belgium and is backed by international life sciences investors.
The TriMix platform, on which eTheRNA’s immunotherapies are based, comprises three mRNAs encoding proteins (caTLR4, CD40L and CD70) that work synergistically to deliver optimal activation of dendritic cells. These cells behave as immune response mediators and so mobilize the immune system to attack cancer cells through inducing a T-cell response. Clinical proof of concept for TriMix-based immunotherapies has been established through an extensive dataset demonstrating clear clinical benefits in advanced melanoma patients.