The recent wave of public interest in several groundbreaking studies of mRNA vaccines in the treatment of cancer are perfect examples of how the rise of true personalized medicines, those developed specifically for an individual to combat the most challenging ailments, will pave the way for widespread adoption of personalized patient monitoring made possible by physIQ.
New findings of the clinical benefit of personalized vaccines against melanoma developed by Merck and Moderna, with a summary published in Science, and another against pancreatic cancer developed by BioNTech and published in Nature, highlight the remarkable potential of this novel therapeutic pathway. In both studies, a mRNA vaccine was designed to target mutations within that patient’s tumor, with both showing significant improvement in recurrence-free survival. It’s a breakthrough that shows the power of personalized medicines to help the body cure itself of ailments that were practically a death sentence not too long ago and will stimulate other major pharmaceutical companies to expand their investments in personalized medicine development.
While we are accustomed to the traditional method of pharmaceutical development, working to gauge efficacy and proper universal dosing requirements, this new era of personalized medicine will require personalized patient insights that only a platform like physIQ can deliver. The results described in these studies are still being worked out – for example, in the pancreatic cancer study, it is unknown why only half the patients developed a T-cell response, or if further adaptations to each individual treatment would have generated even more promising results.
This is where physIQ’s technology, especially its Inflammatory Multivariate Change Index (iMCI) can make a huge impact. physIQ has previously presented their results of the Vaccine-Induced Inflammation Investigation Study which found that the objective measure of mRNA vaccine-induced inflammation significantly correlated with the level of immunogenicity achieved. Inclusion of this technology in personalized tumor vaccines could provide real-time feedback on that individuals immune response to their vaccine and guide optimal dosing to assure all individuals achieve the desired immune response.
But it’s not just the biomarker results to gauge progression, it’s the operational capacity that comes with the platform that allows for the ingestion and analysis of massive data sets in a convenient manner that lets physicians focus on these complex treatments and not on data collection and analysis.
This next step has the potential to move personalized medicine from its current state as an experimental therapy of last resort to an early-stage live-saving treatment. While these treatments are expensive to develop and administer - the BioNTech treatments cost $100,000 per dose - they have the potential to decrease the overall cost of the ailment while vastly improving patient’s lives. This will open the door for market dominance of the company that can not only develop these therapies, but also provide the mechanism the crucial patient insights to make their administration viable to a wide patient population.