SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Revitope Oncology, Inc. (and including its subsidiaries, "Revitope" or the "Company") announced that the Company has raised $8.5 million to continue development of its novel immunotherapy platform for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.
The Company's technology evolved out of research initiated in 2010 by Dr. Mark Cobbold at the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, UK, and supported by affiliates of Cancer Research UK and others. Cancer Research is the largest cancer charity in the UK. The technology platform has received significant funding since the initiation of research in 2010. Dr. Cobbold was recruited to Harvard University in 2015 specifically to focus on immuno-oncology and is currently associate professor at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston.
"Immunotherapy has clearly demonstrated significant potential to address the tremendous needs that still exist in cancer treatment," said Julie M. Cherrington, Ph.D., Revitope president and CEO. "The approach we are pursuing is completely novel and represents a new paradigm for immuno-oncology: redirecting the body's natural viral immunity. We believe Revitope's approach offers several advantages over the T cell-activating immunotherapies currently in development."
Revitope's technology redirects a viral immune response that already exists in order to treat cancer. Cancer patients typically have strong cytotoxic immunity against common viral pathogens, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), but lack effective immunity against their tumors. Revitope's antibody peptide epitope complex (APEC) platform utilizes tumor-targeting antibodies to selectively deliver viral antigens to cancer cells. Existing, virus-specific T cells then recognize tumor cells as virally infected and kill them. Revitope plans to deploy the APEC platform to develop multiple compounds for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.
"Revitope's scientific approach is exciting because it is designed to change the antigenic identity of tumors in order to focus the body's pre-existing immune response against them," said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Gritstone Oncology and chairman of the board of Revitope. "This is perhaps particularly important for patients who have low mutational-load tumors, and therefore seem less likely to respond to current checkpoint inhibitor therapy."
In addition to oncology-industry veterans Cherrington and Allen, Revitope's board of directors includes Mark Cobbold, M.D., Ph.D.; Peter M. Joost; and Raj Mehta, Ph.D.
Dr. Cobbold will present at the Leerink Partners 5th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, February 10 at 10:40 a.m. Eastern Time. The conference is being held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Revitope Oncology, Inc. is a privately-held cancer immunotherapy company developing a novel platform based on redirecting viral immunity for the purpose of developing compounds to treat solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Based on research initiated in 2010, a UK subsidiary of the company was launched in 2014 to continue development of the platform. Revitope is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.revitope.com.
SOURCE Revitope Oncology, Inc.