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Pharmaceuticals

Genentech to pursue cancer vaccines

by Michael McCoy
September 26, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 38

Genentech will pay the German biotech firm BioNTech $310 million in up-front and near-term milestone payments to develop messenger RNA-based individualized cancer vaccines. BioNTech uses next-generation sequencing to identify antigens present in an individual patient’s tumor. The firm then develops mRNA vaccines targeting those antigens. “Unlike any medicine we have ever developed, virtually all cancer patients may potentially benefit from a custom-built cancer vaccine,” says James Sabry, global head of Genentech Partnering.

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