One of the pioneers and leading entrepreneurs in the development of personalised cancer vaccines is Professor Ugur Sahin.
In addition to being CEO of the privately-held biopharmaceutical company, BioNTech, he holds an academic appointment at the University of Mainz and is Managing Director of the translational research institute TRON.
This makes Mainz the perfect location for a cancer immunotherapy conference. It’s also where the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT) is located. They were the local organisers of the 3rd annual CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR cancer immunotherapy conference that we recently attended along with over 1400 people from around the world.
One of the underlying themes of the meeting and the posters was the development of personalised cancer vaccines, which is why we’re doing an extended mini-series based on interviews we did in Germany with leaders in the field.
Prof Sahin is a busy man, but we tracked him down in the poster hall. Here’s a brief excerpt from the impromptu interview he kindly gave to BSB.
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Dr Ira Mellman is a leading cancer researcher, familiar to many in cancer immunotherapy for his work on the Cancer-Immunity Cycle and Cancer-Immune Set-Point with Dr Dan Chen.
Prior to joining Genentech, he spent 20 years as a faculty member at Yale, publishing extensive research on dendritic cells.
River Rhine, Mainz
Last year, Genentech announced a strategic collaboration with Mainz based BioNTech in Germany to develop and manufacture personalized mRNA based cancer vaccines.
At the recent CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR cancer international cancer immunotherapy conference in Mainz, Dr Mellman kindly spoke to BSB about the underlying biology/immunology, the rationale behind the BioNTech collaboration, and his vision on where he sees the potential for therapeutic cancer vaccines going forward.
This is the second post in our series on the Future of Cancer Vaccines.
Here’s a snippet of the interview with Dr Mellman to get you warmed up…
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