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BioNTech and UK Government announce strategic partnership to provide mRNA cancer immunotherapiesGerman biotech company BioNTech and the UK Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will accelerate clinical trials of personalised mRNA immunotherapies. It is hoped this acceleration will lead to up to 10,000 patients receiving such therapies by the end of 2030.As part of the MoU, trial site and patient recruitment for clinical candidates from BioNTech’s pipeline will be accelerated, aided by the utilisation of the UK’s clinical trial network, genomics and health data assets.BioNTech also plans to invest in a UK R&D hub in Cambridge, UK, with an expected capacity of more than 70 highly skilled scientists.The next steps in the plan include selection of candidates, trial sites and the set up of a development plan, with the aim to enrol the first cancer patient in the second half of 2023.Ugur Sahin MD, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of BioNTech stated: “The UK successfully delivered COVID-19 vaccines so quickly because the NHS, academia, the regulator and the private sector worked together in an exemplary way. This agreement is a result of the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic as we all experience that drug development can be accelerated without cutting corners if everyone works seamlessly together towards the same goal. Today’s agreement shows that we are committed to do the same for cancer patients. Our goal is to accelerate the development of immunotherapies and vaccines using technologies we have been researching for over 20 years. The collaboration will cover various cancer types and infectious diseases affecting collectively hundreds of millions of people worldwide. If successful, this collaboration has the potential to improve outcomes for patients and provide early access to our suite of cancer immunotherapies as well as to innovative vaccines against infectious diseases – in the UK and worldwide.”