ViroCure targets intractable cancers using naturally occuring viruses
입력 2017-04-25 08:38 수정 2017-12-27 09:25
바이오스펙테이터 김성민 기자
Since after the first FDA approval of Amgen’s IMLYGIC (Brand name: T-VEC), an oncolytic virus (OV), in 2015, global pharmaceutical companies are actively seeking out for the oncolytic virus pipeline in 2016. Big pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, have invested heavily in the start-up of oncolytic virus; and now BMS, the leader of immune anti-cancer drugs, is also in. This is why researchers have to pay attention to the oncolytic virus that attacks cancer cells.
Meanwhile, ViroCure, which was founded in June last year, has a distinctive difference compared to the previous oncolytic virus biotech companies. Manbok Kim, president of ViroCure, was pleased to explain the concept at the meeting with the Biospectator. The concept was somewhat unfamiliar compared to that of the existing oncolytic viruses.
“To fully understand the potential of oncolytic viruses, we first have to abandon stereotypes of the virus. The first stereotype to be abandoned is that all viruses are harmful. And the second stereotype is that the oncolytic virus needs a genetic manipulation for attacking cancer cells.”
Generally, viral attenuation with a deletion of a certain toxic viral gene is necessary for a safety reason in the process of engineered oncolytic viral development. Also, it is a huge topic in which platforms to be used for viral genome engineering in oncolytic viral field. If you look at Imlygic, the first FDA approved OV (Oncolytic virus), it is genetically engineered to specifically infect only the cancer cells, activate immune cells, and increase its anti-cancer effects. Psioxus, which has acquired a pipeline of BMS, is drawing attentions as a platform for delivering genes that can increase anti-cancer activity of T-cells in a micro-tumor environment....