Virttu Biologics Shows Robust Evidence Of Immunological Activity In Mesothelioma Patients Following SEPREHVIR® Administration Results To Be Presented At Society For ImmunoTherapy Of Cancer (SITC)

- Clinical data from mesothelioma patients identifies evidence of immunological efficacy with robust Th1 cytokine responses post SEPREHVIR administration

- Preclinical data on enhanced systemic targeted delivery demonstrates that SEPREHVIR arming of the magnetic macrophage carriers converts them from benign to aggressive, anti-cancer types.

Nov 05, 2015, 05:06 ET from Virttu Biologics

GLASGOW, United Kingdom, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Virttu Biologics, a clinical stage oncolytic immunotherapeutic company developing SEPREHVIR, a tumor-targeted HSV, are pleased to announce the presentation of two posters at SITC's 30th Anniversary Annual Meeting  on November 4th-8th. Abstracts were published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Nov 4th 2015

Dr. Deirdre Gillespie, CEO at Virttu says, "These two posters provide strong data to support both the efficacy and flexible administration of SEPREHVIR. Sample analysis from our ongoing mesothelioma trial adds to our growing body of evidence that clearly demonstrates SEPREHVIR's potential for immunological efficacy by inducing Th1 cytokine signatures and inducing novel anti-tumor immune responses. While administered loco-regionally in the mesothelioma study, SEPREHVIR is also being used systemically in the clinic. Preclinical work building on systemic administration has confirmed that not only can 'magnetic' SEPREHVIR-armed macrophages be successfully guided by MRI from the circulation to target tumor sites, but they arrive in an activated state capable of directly attacking tumor cells. We are committed to creating innovative medicines, through internal discovery and collaborations that fully leverage the benefits of our proprietary SEPREHVEC platform."

Poster 1 is entitled "Immune responses following intrapleural administration of oncolytic HSV SEPREHVIR® in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma" and describes results from our ongoing clinical trial involving intrapleural administration of our oncolytic immunotherapeutic SEPREHVIR in mesothelioma patients (NCT01721018). In principal, data from the analysis of sequential pleural fluid samples post-SEPREHVIR administration has identified a robust Th1 cytokine response and the appearance of  novel anti-tumour IgG responses in most treated patients, thus confirming SEPREHVIR's potential for immunological efficacy.
Poster 1 will be presented by Virttu CSO, Joe Conner, on Friday 6th November, 1245-1400.

Poster 2 is entitled "Use of magnetic resonance targeting to steer OV-loaded cell-based therapies to tumour sites in vivo", arises from our ongoing collaboration with Munitta Muthana and Prof Claire Lewis at University of Sheffield (UoS), UK. The poster builds upon data recently published in Nature Communications (Muthana et al. 2015. Directing cell therapy to anatomic target sites in vivo with magnetic resonance targeting Nature Communications 6, Article number: 8009 doi:10.1038/ncomms9009) which described efficacy in an orthotopic, metastatic prostate cancer model using human macrophages, targeted with magnetic nanoparticles and armed with SEPREHVIR, delivered systemically and directed to tumor sites using a MR targeting technique. The poster extends these findings by demonstrating an additional therapeutic benefit to the macrophage delivery vehicle as SEPREHVIR clearly converts the macrophage carriers from a benign, quiescent form to an aggressive anti-cancer-type associated with tumor rejection.
Poster 2 will be presented by Munitta Muthana (UoS), on Friday 6th November, 1245-1400.

About Virttu Biologics
Virttu is a privately held biotechnology company, which has pioneered the development of oncolytic viruses for treating cancer. Although viruses naturally kill the cells they infect, weakened viruses have been used in medicine for centuries as vaccinations against the infectious diseases they cause. Scientists at Virttu have reprogrammed this ability in a common human virus so that it targets and kills only cancer cells (oncolysis), leaving normal cells unharmed. Additionally, the presence of the tumour-specific viral infection works as a vaccination triggering the patient's own immune system to mount an anti-cancer response – a treatment known as oncolytic immunotherapy.

Virttu's lead oncolytic product SEPREHVIR® has been administered to over 90 patients ranging from 8 to 84 years with many different types of cancer including brain, melanoma, head and neck cancer, sarcomas, neuroblastoma and mesothelioma (a devastating lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure).  In these patients, SEPREHVIR® can be administered by the route most suitable for their disease which includes systemic administration by intravenous infusion, direct intratumoral injection, and loco-regional infusion. SEPREHVIR®, which the company is interested in partnering for further development, is the first product from an active oncolytic immunotherapy platform technology (SEPRERHVEC®). Virttu's in-house expertise has led to the development of techniques to rapidly engineer further therapeutic modalities into the SEPREHVIR backbone and Virttu now has a promising pipeline of next-generation clinical candidates. Virttu's scientific and technical expertise in oncolytic virotherapy has been established over 15 years of research and development activity carried out both in-house and with leading researchers in oncolytic immunotherapy, resulting in many firsts in the field and 68 publications in peer- reviewed journals.   

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