STUTTGART, Germany I January 25, 2017 I The acquisition of oncolytic virus company BioVex by Amgen in late 2011 for up to US$ 1 bln has been a game changer for the field of oncolytic viruses, now recognized as a promising new therapeutic approach for cancer treatment. The approval of Amgen‘s herpes simplex oncolytic virus Imlygic in late 2015 further strengthened this trend as evidenced by the fact that total venture equity investment into oncolytic companies in the year 2016 was nearly 17-fold higher than that in 2010. Although the total economic value of all transactions with oncolytic viruses in the year 2016 was in excess of US$ 370 mln, it is only a marginal amount compared with the US$ 3.5 bln moved in transactions related to TCR and CAR T-cell therapies in the year 2015.

Big Pharma companies active in the immuno-oncology field and a few selected investors were among the first to realize the potential clinical and commercial value of oncolytic viruses. In the short term, combination of an oncolytic virus with an immune checkpoint inhibitor represents a quick path towards approval. Amgen and Merck are in the lead with a pivotal phase III combination trial. Early clinical data indiate synergistic efficacy without increased toxicity. Apart from direct cancer cell lysis, oncolytic viruses induce a tumor-specific systemic immunity which can be enhanced by combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The next generation constructs of oncolytic viruses in development incorporate transgenes to locally express immune system co-stimulatory molecules, such as 4-1BB, CD40L, OX40 or CD80, but also the CD3 receptor to recruit T-cells, or even single chain antibodies for local anti-PD-1 action. If proven effective in clinical studies, this profile of oncolytic viruses could convert them again to stand-alone therapeutics independent from the combination with other immune checkpoint inhibitors (or stimulators).

In a new report released by La Merie Publishing, the competitive landscape of oncolytic virus stakeholders, technologies, pipelines, financing and deals is described and analyzed.

This report „The Oncolytic Virus Landscape 2017: an analysis of pipeline, stakeholders, deals, industry trends & opportunities“ as of January 2017 brings you up-to-date regarding key players, key technologies, oncolytic virus products and projects, business deals and private and public financing rounds. The report analyzes the oncolytic virus pipeline and stakeholders in the field, especially among Big Pharma/Biotech and technology companies. The report highlights the value of oncolytic viruses in terms of partnering terms and conditions, venture and private financing, (initial) public offerings and mergers & acquisitions.

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SOURCE: La Merie Publishing