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Much research has gone in recent years into augmenting checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies to make them effective in more cancer types and for more cancer patients. In this context, there is now excitement about the combination of checkpoint inhibitors with mRNA-based cancer vaccines. Results from a phase 2 clinical trial showed significant improvement in patients with stage 3 or 4 melanoma when they were treated with a personalized cancer vaccine, Moderna’s mRNA-4157/V940 in combination with Merck’s anti PD-1 antibody KEYTRUDA. Adjuvant treatment with mRNA-4157/V940 in combination with KEYTRUDA reduced the risk of recurrence or death by 44% compared to treatment with KEYTRUDA alone. A phase 3 trial is in the planning stages. The implications for cancer patients and the biopharmaceutical industry are enormous. Here is a little video of CNBC interviewing Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel at JPM Healthcare.