Company News: Prof. Ugur Sahin receives prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant for personalized cancer vaccines

Prof. Ugur Sahin, Managing Director Research and Science at TRON (Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz gGmbH), has been awarded one of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants 2017 for his project ‘SUMMIT – Stepping Up mRNA Mutanome Immunotherapy’, totaling 2.5 Million Euros over 5 years. The SUMMIT project will be conducted by Prof. Sahin and his team at TRON, an internationally leading research institute in the development of personalized therapy concepts and biomarkers in the field of oncology.

The ERC Advanced Grants are awarded to well-established, leading principal investigators to pursue ground-breaking projects. SUMMIT is one of the 269 projects proposed for funding out of 2,167 submitted proposals within the 2017 application round.

Immunotherapy is fundamentally changing the treatment of cancer patients. Personalized vaccines eliciting immune responses against individual cancer mutations have recently moved into the therapy spotlight. Prof. Ugur Sahin is a translational cancer researcher and pioneer in the field of personalized cancer immunotherapy. To date, his work has resulted in more than 70 independent patents, 10 first-in-human clinical studies and advanced development programs of novel cancer therapeutics.

“Personalized medicine as a standard-of-care for cancer is a long-standing vision of mine, and I founded TRON in 2010 in order to help me turn this vision into reality. I am thrilled about the funding from the ERC for SUMMIT as it fosters cutting-edge research on two levels: bringing innovative solutions to patients in an area of high unmet medical need, and supporting TRON scientists performing the crucial research for these therapies,” said Prof. Sahin.

“We are delighted that Ugur Sahin has been awarded the ERC Advanced Grant for his proposal, SUMMIT, and moreover that he plans to carry out this research program at TRON. TRON as a scientific organization was founded on its strong competencies in translational oncology, and the administration of this funding here at TRON not only brings us closer to Prof. Sahin’s vision of personalized medicine in cancer therapy, but will be integral in further building TRON’s profile as a center of excellence in cancer diagnostics and immune therapies. We are therefore excited to support Prof. Sahin in every capacity,” said Michael Foehlings, Managing Director of TRON.

Prof. Sahin is also Professor of Translational Oncology and Immunology of the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany.

“The ERC Advanced Grant shows once more that Prof. Sahin is one of the outstanding researchers in the field of individual and personalized cancer immunotherapy,” said Prof. Ulrich Foerstermann, Scientific Director and Dean, University Medical Center Mainz. “Thanks to Prof. Sahin, we generate immunotherapies ‘made in Mainz’ and shape the future of oncology.”