CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Oncorus®, Inc., a new immuno-oncology company developing a next-generation immunotherapy platform of oncolytic viruses for the treatment of several tumor types including highly malignant and aggressive cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), today announced the successful completion of a $57 million Series A financing.
Investors were led by MPM Capital (with equal contributions from MPM BV2014 and the Oncology Impact Fund), and included Deerfield Management, Arkin Bio Ventures, Celgene, Inc., Excelyrate Capital, Long March Investment Fund and MPM's SunStates Fund. Proceeds from the Series A financing round will be used to advance Oncorus's immunotherapy platform using its next-generation oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV).
Luke Evnin, Ph.D., MPM Capital co-founder and Chairman of Oncorus's Board of Directors stated, "Oncorus's next-generation immunotherapy platform is extremely innovative and could potentially help many thousands of patients diagnosed with deadly cancers such as glioblastoma. We are pleased to have an outstanding group of co-investors supporting this experienced management team to advance what we believe could become a new paradigm in cancer treatment."
Industry veteran and Oncorus co-founder Mitchell H. Finer, Ph.D., leads the Oncorus management team as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Finer also serves on Oncorus's Board of Directors along with Dr. Evnin; Briggs Morrison, CEO, Syndax; Cameron Wheeler, Ph.D., Principal, Deerfield Management; and, Alon Lazarus, Ph.D., Biotech Investment Manager, Arkin Bio Ventures. As part of the launch management team, Thomas W. Chalberg, Ph.D., has joined as Chief Operating Officer on an interim basis.
"This is an exciting time for Oncorus. We are thrilled to have such high-quality investors joining the team," said Dr. Finer. "We have an urgency to develop medicines for patients with deadly cancers for which limited treatment options currently exist. This financing will fuel substantial development and enable us to advance this technology to help patients."
Oncorus licensed certain patent rights from the University of Pittsburgh based upon the work of renowned scientists Joseph Glorioso III, Ph.D., and Paola Grandi, Ph.D., who will join Oncorus's Scientific Advisory Board. The company will invest in researching and developing oncolytic viral constructs which will move through preclinical development and ultimately into clinical trials. Currently, the company's lead candidate is in preclinical development for GBM. The company will also expand and improve its technology platform and accelerate the development of pipeline programs in other forms of cancer.
Glioblastoma (or glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) is the most common and most aggressive of the gliomas, the most common type of malignant tumor that originates in the brain. Glioblastomas are usually highly malignant and, despite maximum treatment, the cancer typically recurs. The most common length of survival following a diagnosis is 12 to 15 months, with less than five percent of patients diagnosed with GBM surviving more than five years.
About Oncorus, Inc.
Oncorus, Inc. is an early-stage biotechnology company developing a next-generation immunotherapy platform of oncolytic viruses to treat several types of cancer, including highly malignant and aggressive cancers. A leader in corporate philanthropy, Oncorus has taken a pledge to donate a portion of product sales revenue to fund promising cancer research and to support cancer care in the developing world. The company is located in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit www.oncorus.com for more information.
SOURCE Oncorus, Inc.