Boehringer Ingelheim has signed a deal with ViraTherapeutics, an Austrian start-up that focuses on the development of oncolytic virus therapies. If everything goes well, the big Pharma could acquire the Biotech start-up after completion of Phase I trials.
Boehringer Ingelheim has its eye on ViraTherapeutics’ oncolytic virus platform. The young Biotech’s technology establishes a novel treatment approach that aims to compete with other well-known immuno-oncology therapies like CAR-T or TCR.
Both companies will collaborate to develop a next-generation platform of oncolytic viruses and advance ViraTherapeutics’ lead candidate, VSV-GP. This candidate is very promising since it has shown the ability to boost the antitumoral immune response in a broad range of cancers without eliciting an effective antiviral response.
According to the company, VSV-GP has a few advantages over other oncolytic viruses, namely they replicate more quickly and don’t integrate into the patient’s DNA. This virus has been genetically modified to hide from the immune system and avoid neural inflammation side-effects, making it an ideal candidate to deliver therapeutic genes and antigens for cancer vaccines.