Belarus plans to organise large-scale production of cancer vaccine
Our country is starting to organise large-scale production of the Elenagen cancer vaccine. During clinical trials, the drug showed the world’s best results in the treatment of high-grade ovarian tumours with metastases. It is possible that it will be effective against other types of neoplasms.
“This vaccine is the development of the outstanding American molecular biologist Alex Schneider,” noted Prof. Sergei Krasny, academician of the National Academy of Sciences and Deputy Director for Research at the N. N. Alexandrov National Cancer Centre. “Of course, before the creation of Elenagen there were long-term fundamental studies on the study of tumour growth, carcinogenesis and the search for solutions where the action of the drug could be applied. Chronic inflammation was chosen as such a target, since it is used by the tumour as a defence – this is how cancer creates a barrier around itself, like a purulent focus, where cells of the immune system and various chemicals cannot penetrate. It is for this reason that chemotherapy is ineffective, and after some time the disease is fatal.”
“When the fundamental research of the vaccine ended, the question arose of where to conduct clinical studies. In America it is too expensive – about $2m – so Schneider looked for venues with more reasonable prices. We suggested Belarus. I must say that at first Alex was sceptical about this idea - he knew almost nothing about our country. However, he agreed to come and study the issue on the spot and was greatly impressed. Our specialists were required to write a programme of clinical trials, and only after that their conduct was approved. Moreover, the United States, Brazil and Israel wanted to join the studies, which were scheduled to begin in 2020 – indicating a high degree of confidence in our programme. But then a pandemic broke out, which practically paralysed the oncological services of these countries, all the forces of doctors there were devoted to the fight against COVID. Belarus did not introduce a lockdown, medical and scientific institutions worked as usual. Considering that all stocks of Elenagen remained with us, clinical trials were conducted here. Therefore, the project turned out to be American-Belarusian,” added the scientist.