Results reinforce potential to develop TILT-123 as a systemic therapy

HELSINKI, Finland I May 28, 2024 I TILT Biotherapeutics (TILT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, announces that it will present two abstracts at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2024. Abstract (5562) demonstrates promising safety and efficacy data of TILT-123 in ovarian cancer patients, whilst abstract (2658) demonstrates the potential for TILT-123 as an intravenous therapy.

Abstract (5562)* covers the results of a Phase I clinical trial of TILT-123 in combination with MSD’s (Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA) anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), for the treatment of platinum-resistant or -refractory ovarian cancer, demonstrating the combination is safe and appears to induce disease control in a difficult-to-treat patient population. 14 patients (out of 15 enrolled) were evaluable for treatment response, with disease control achieved in 64.3%. Analysis of biological samples indicated the presence of TILT-123 and induction of T cells in injected and non-injected lesions. Long term survival was seen in some patients: Median progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in all patients were 105 and 280 days. In patients with stable disease (SD) on day 92 by RECIST 1.1, median PFS was 174 days and median OS was 293 days.

Abstract (2658) introduces the development of oncolytic adenovirus TILT-123 as an intravenous (IV) therapy. Results across three Phase I trials showed that IV delivery results in systemic tumor transduction and accumulation of lymphocytes at tumors. This means TILT-123 reached tumors, despite not being directly injected into them, and successfully triggered an immune system toward the cancer. The IV injection of TILT-123 results in persistence of the virus in peripheral blood for up to 7 days. Tumor transduction was observed in 75% of patients in three Phase I trials on day 8 post TILT-123 systemic administration.

TILT Biotherapeutics’ founder and CEO, Akseli Hemminki, a cancer clinician who has personally treated hundreds of cancer patients with oncolytic viruses, said “This data presented at ASCO 2024 provides additional validation as we move forward in our clinical trials for patients with resistant or refractory ovarian cancer that have few other treatment options.”

TILT-123, an oncolytic adenovirus armed with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-2 (IL-2), is designed to enhance the efficacy of T-cell therapies, including immune checkpoint blockade or adoptive cell transfer. TILT’s approach uses oncolytic viruses to selectively replicate in and lyse cancer cells, while simultaneously stimulating immune responses towards the tumor.


  1. Abstract (5562): Poster #433 presented 3 June at 09:00-12:00
  2. Abstract (2658): Poster #137 presented 1 June at 09:00-12:00

*The work was supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs endorsed by the Department of Defense, in the amount of $2,098,194.00, through the Ovarian Cancer Research Program under Award No. HT9425-23-1-0988. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs or the Department of Defense.

KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA.

About TILT Biotherapeutics

TILT Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer therapeutics based on its proprietary oncolytic adenoviruses armed with molecules including cytokines that can activate T cells and destroy cancer cells. 

The company’s patented TILT® technology can be delivered intravenously, locoregionally, or intratumorally. It modifies the tumor microenvironment and has a broader systemic effect. By making cold tumors hot, it eliminates cancer’s ability to evade immune responses, thereby enhancing T-cell therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, and CAR T therapies. 

TILT’s lead asset, TILT-123 also known as Igrelimogene litadenorepvec, is a 5/3 chimeric serotype adenovirus armed with two human cytokines: TNF alpha and IL-2. About fifty patients have been treated in four international trials sponsored by the company with promising initial efficacy responses observed in some of the patients.

The company’s pioneering approach has been recognized by industry leaders. It has two collaborations with MSD (Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA) investigating TILT-123 in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in ovarian cancer (NCT05271318) and in refractory non-small cell lung cancer (NCT06125197).  The company is also collaborating with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and investigating TILT-123 in combination with avelumab.

Based in Helsinki, Finland, and with an office in Boston, the company was established over a decade ago as a spin-out from the University of Helsinki. It has funding from Lifeline Ventures, Finnish Industry Investment (TESI), angel investors, Business Finland, the European Innovation Council, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

SOURCE: TILT Biotherapeutics