Towards new personalised cancer vaccines


The alliance between Flemish company myNEO and Walloon biotech OncoDNA is opening up new forms of cancer therapy.

In its Gosselies facilities, OncoDNA already has considerable expertise in the interpretation of data for the treatment of advanced cancers. By joining forces with Ghent-based artificial intelligence company myNEO, the Charleroi biotech is further strengthening its ability to identify targets in immuno-oncology.

Using the latest scientific advances in the fields of immunotherapy, human genome sequencing and artificial intelligence, the two companies are working to develop treatments for the most advanced forms of cancer, also based on messenger RNA technology.

In concrete terms, as Jean-Pol Detiffe, founder of OncoDNA, explains, "We take cells from the patient, re-educate their immuno-modulation in vitro and reinject a cocktail of cells ready to fight the cancerous cells."  But to achieve this, the sequenced data of a genome must be used to "examine a cancerous cell by comparing it with a healthy cell belonging to the patient," points out Cedric Bogaert, co-founder of myNEO.

The first clinical trials on patients with very advanced cancers could take place in the short term. But the support of the biopharmaceutical sector has yet to be found so that these very expensive treatments can be democratised at this stage.