Merck, Moderna detail potential skin cancer vaccine progress – CTV

Dec. 13, 2022

Moderna’s stock soared Tuesday after the COVID-19 vaccine maker detailed progress in developing a preventive shot for a deadly form of skin cancer.

The company said a possible melanoma vaccine it is studying with pharmaceutical giant Merck fared well in a small study of patients who had the cancer surgically removed.

The drugmakers said a combination of the vaccine and Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda led to a statistically significant improvement in survival before the cancer returned in patients with advanced melanoma.

“We are very excited, we are moving very quickly with Merck onto phase 3 for this study,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC Tuesday morning.

Phase 3 is generally the largest and most expensive stage of clinical research before regulators review a potential drug for approval.

Moderna developed one of the most popular vaccines used to protect patients against COVID-19, and the drugmaker brought in more than US$3 billion from its Spikevax in this year’s third quarter.

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