Boehringer Ingelheim partners with ViraTherapeutics for immuno-oncology project
The goal of the partnership is to study the VSV-GP by itself and with similar therapies. After trials end, Boehringer Ingelheim has the right to purchase ViraTherapeutics.
ViraTherapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on creating oncolytic virus therapies. The company’s new technology will be tested in preclinical as well as clinical Phase I trials.
“We are very excited about this new collaboration with ViraTherapeutics, a company for which the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund is a core investor,” Dr. Michel Pairet, member of Boehringer Ingelheim's board of managing directors responsible for innovation, said. “Oncolytic viruses are among the most promising new therapy approaches in cancer research, and the technology developed by ViraTherapeutics may offer significant advantages compared to others currently under development. The new collaboration is an example of Boehringer Ingelheim's increasing focus on partnering and further complements the company's growing immune-oncology pipeline that includes -- among others -- a therapeutic cancer vaccine and next-generation checkpoint inhibitors.”
Oncolytic virus therapy, which is a cancer treatment, manipulates a virus into attacking cancer cells. It does not join with DNA, and it has a short replication time for generating an immune response against cancerous tumors.
“This is an important milestone for the development of ViraTherapeutics,” Dr. Dorothee von Laer, scientific founder and CEO of ViraTherapeutics, said. “The team has worked hard on our technology platform and lead candidate. In addition to its oncolytic activity, VSV-GP has demonstrated the ability to prime and boost an anti-cancer immune response and does not appear to prompt effective antiviral immune responses. These properties are expected to allow groundbreaking applications of this novel treatment approach. In the collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, we can now fully explore the platform and therapeutic potential of our VSV-GP oncolytic virus. We will also continue to investigate VSV-GP's potential to be armed with therapeutic genes as well as antigens for its use as a prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine vector.”
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