Broadening its oncolytic virus and tumour antigen-based immuno-oncology approach across enveloped viruses

OXFORD, UK and HELSINKI, Finland I September 2, 2019 I Valo Therapeutics Limited (Valo Tx), an immuno-oncology company developing neoantigen-coated oncolytic viruses as therapeutic vaccines, today announced that it has licensed proprietary PeptiENVTM technology from Helsinki University that enables the coating of enveloped viruses by neoantigen-peptides. Valo Tx previously in-licenced its PeptiCRAdTM technology for use with adenoviruses from the University of Helsinki. PeptiENV is expected to improve the therapeutic response to enveloped oncolytic viruses in the treatment of multiple forms of cancer. A study1 published last year demonstrated the functionality of PeptiENV in conjunction with oncolytic vaccinia virus and herpes simplex virus, of which T-VEC is an example, approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. The data indicated that activation of a tumour specific immune response against cancer cells is more effective with PeptiENV when compared to uncoated enveloped oncolytic viruses alone.

Professor Vincenzo Cerullo, the inventor of the PeptiENV technology with Dr Erkko Ylösmäki, explains: “One of the biggest hurdles in the clinical use of cancer vaccination is being overcome through the ability to expose cancer cells to immune surveillance using checkpoint inhibitors. As the neoantigen field continues to explode, the focus is on the identification of potent adjuvants to enable the activation of a cancer specific CD8+ T cell response that is strong enough to completely clear cancer cells. Oncolytic viruses in combination with neoantigens are potent stimulators of an immune response and therefore make excellent adjuvants.”

Dr Michael Stein, CEO of Valo Tx commented further: “We are excited by the potential of the PeptiENV technology to expand the capability of the PeptiCRAd cancer vaccination platform by enabling its application across enveloped viruses. This acquisition of novel IP is a natural extension of our approach to develop new and improved therapeutic options for cancer patients.”

The use of different viruses carrying a neoantigen target has been shown to boost the T-cell immune response to specific cancers and are expected to deliver superior therapeutic clinical outcomes when used as adjuvants in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.

About Valo Therapeutics (Valo Tx)

Valo Tx is a cancer immunotherapy company developing tumour peptide (neoantigen)-coated oncolytic viruses as therapeutic vaccines. The Company’s proprietary technology platform works by adsorbing antigenic tumour peptides to the surface of oncolytic viruses, thereby eliciting a rapid and powerful adaptive immune response against the tumour. The ability to easily display these neoantigens enables the creation of rapidly adaptable tumour-specific, targeted therapies without the need to generate and manufacture genetically modified viruses.

Valo Tx’s PeptiCRAdTM (Peptide-coated Conditionally Replicating Adenovirus) technology is able to display neoantigens onto the surface of any oncolytic adenovirus and its PeptiENVTM technology works with any oncolytic enveloped virus (such as HSV, VSV, or Vaccinia). Valo Tx’s lead candidate, Valo-D102, a proprietary, genetically modified adenovirus coated with a neoantigen, is currently in preclinical trials. Valo Tx has a strategic partnership with DNAtrix to develop enhanced cancer vaccines using DNAtrix’s clinical stage oncolytic adenoviruses in combination with its PeptiCRAdTM technology. The lead candidate from this partnership, an armed adenovirus, DNX-2440, combined with PeptiCRAdTM and a check point inhibitor, will enter clinical trials in 2020.

The Company was founded in January 2017 and is headquartered in Oxford, UK with R&D conducted by a dedicated team in Helsinki. The technology was developed out of the laboratory of Professor Vincenzo Cerullo at the University of Helsinki. For more information, please visit

[1] Erkko Ylösmäki et al. Personalized Cancer Vaccine Platform for Clinically Relevant Oncolytic Enveloped Viruses. Molecular Therapy (2018).

SOURCE: Valo Therapeutics