In a remarkable display of the convergence of megatrends, the year 2024 witnesses groundbreaking advancements in medicine, particularly in personalized cancer therapy. Moderna, renowned for its rapid development of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, is at the forefront of this revolution, leveraging AI, genetics, and cloud computing to offer hope to late-stage melanoma patients. This convergence is shaping the future of healthcare and has the potential to save countless lives.
Personalized cancer therapy: A triumph of technology
Late in 2023, Moderna reported astounding results from an ongoing early-stage trial for a personalized therapy aimed at combating late-stage melanoma, a notoriously lethal form of skin cancer. CEO Stephane Bancel unveiled the innovative approach, describing how the company harnessed the power of AI analytics and massive cloud computing to sequence DNA data from cancerous and healthy cells. By comparing the genetic codes, Moderna’s algorithm identifies unique elements in cancer cells that could serve as targets for a patient’s immune system. This information enables the creation of a personalized cancer vaccine, administered using mRNA technology similar to COVID-19 vaccines, effectively training the patient’s immune system to attack the specific cancer.
Remarkably, this tailored cancer therapy can be prepared within just 30 days of extracting and sequencing the patient’s cells. After three years of trials, this therapy, known as mRNA-4157, when combined with Merck’s Keytruda, reduced the risk of recurrence or death by 49% in late-stage melanoma patients compared to Keytruda alone. The combination also decreased the risk of developing distant metastasis or death by 62%. These results offer hope for patients facing dire prognoses and hint at a medical future once considered science fiction.
The superconvergence of BioRevolution, AI, and cloud computing
This groundbreaking achievement is a testament to what Jamie Metzl, partner at WisdomTree BioRevolution ETF, calls “superconvergence.” It represents the intersection of three megatrends: BioRevolution, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing. The synergy between these trends drives innovation and reshapes various sectors, with healthcare being a prime beneficiary.
Moderna’s transition from COVID-19 vaccine production to a platform for mRNA therapies demonstrates the profound impact of superconvergence. The company collaborates with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s leading public cloud platform with a 40% market share. This partnership allows Moderna to access advanced computational infrastructure for genome analysis that would be unattainable independently. AWS provides Moderna with AI and machine learning tools, enhancing data processing and actionable insights.
The future of medicine: Personalization and data
The future of medicine is moving beyond generic treatments towards personalized medicine, recognizing the uniqueness of each individual’s biology. Central to this transformation is data, and where there’s data, the cloud and AI are integral. Moderna’s success demonstrates that the ability to analyze genetic data swiftly and comprehensively, combined with AI-driven insights, paves the way for highly personalized treatments.
Biotechnology’s promising future in 2024
While biotechnology has faced challenges recently, it is poised for resurgence. The macroeconomic landscape, including interest rates, plays a role, but the relentless pace of scientific advancement is undeniable. Promising therapies like CRISPR-based treatments for conditions like sickle cell anemia and mRNA cancer therapies exemplify this progress.
Moreover, the intersection of AI, genetics, and cloud computing provides the necessary tools to accelerate the development and adoption of such therapies. Moderna’s extensive pipeline of therapies, including mRNA-4157, reflects the optimism in the field.
Investors looking to capitalize on these trends should consider the WisdomTree BioRevolution Fund, which focuses on BioRevolution companies at the forefront of these transformative advancements.
The convergence of BioRevolution, AI, and cloud computing is ushering in a new era of personalized medicine. Moderna’s pioneering efforts in cancer therapy exemplify the potential of this superconvergence. While market dynamics may fluctuate, the exponential growth in capabilities drives societal change, promising a brighter future for healthcare and in 2024 and beyond.