Viralytics Ltd. has received positive preliminary data in bladder cancer in its collaboration with Professor Hardev Pandha’s research team at The University of Surrey in the United Kingdom.  

Initial findings indicate the presence of widespread ICAM-1 on the surface of human bladder cancer tissues. Viralytics’ lead oncolytic virus Cavatak is based on demonstrated performance in targeting ICAM-1 receptors on the surface of cancer cells.

Cavatak binds to the ICAM-1 receptor and works its way into the cancer cells. Phase I trial results have shown that after injection of Cavatak, a number of patients’ melanoma lesions appear to stabilize or reduce in size. There is also evidence of possible immune activation in patients with reductions in injected lesions.

Injected Cavatak virus clears from circulation within about 48 hours with possible secondary viral replication. In other words the mild virus keeps on working in patients as it is designed to persist in targeting cancer cells.

“These findings are very encouraging in our quest to enter early phase clinical evaluation of Cavatak for the treatment of patient with superficial bladder cancer. Novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed in the indication as evidenced by the current worldwide shortage of a Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a common treatment for this condition,” says Professor Pandha.

Professor Pandha is the Head of Oncology at The University of Surrey and is an internationally recognized researcher and opinion-leader in virotherapy. He has published extensively on the pre-clinical and clinical activity of oncolytic viruses.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that in 2012 there will be about 70,000 new cases and 15,000 deaths from bladder cancer.

Viralytics has since advanced to a Phase II melanoma study using intratumorally injected Cavatak under an Investigational New Drug application allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this study, 13 subjects have so far been dosed in the Phase II Cavatak trial with three demonstrating immune-related Progression-Free Survival at six months.

Release Date: Nov. 29, 2012
Source: Viralytics Ltd.