NEW YORK – Biotech companies Frame Therapeutics and eTheRNA Immunotherapies said on Tuesday that they have had received a €1.9 million ($2.3 million) grant to jointly develop a kidney cancer vaccine.
The funds were awarded through Eurostars, a program funded by the European Union and the national budgets of 36 countries that aims to support innovative startups and small or medium-sized enterprises that are leveraging international collaboration in their R&D.
Since beginning their collaboration in early 2020, Frame, based in the Netherlands, and eTheRNA, based in Belgium, have been jointly developing a cancer mRNA vaccine. It targets neoantigens that result from a unique set of frameshift mutations, identified by Frame, that are commonly found in kidney tumors.
The companies now plan to pair the mRNA vaccine with eTheRNA's mRNA immune stimulant, TriMix, to engender an immune cellular response capable of killing kidney cancer cells expressing these neoantigens.
Before the vaccine can be evaluated in human clinical trials, the companies will put their new funding toward preclinical research. "Once we have reached proof-of-concept for this technology in preclinical experiments, there is enormous potential to apply this vaccine concept to other cancer types," Frame CSO Wigard Kloosterman said in a statement.