AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, has entered into a licensing agreement with Omnis Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biotechnology company focused on the development of oncolytic viruses.
This agreement will allow MedImmune to combine key agents from its investigational immunotherapy portfolio with Omnis’ lead investigational oncolytic virus program, a genetically engineered strain of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). The program is currently being studied in a Phase I clinical trial as a monotherapy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers that have metastasised to the liver.
Oncolytic viruses are designed to target tumor cells with the killing potency of viruses. VSV is among a group of naturally occurring viruses that can be engineered to selectively infect tumor cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells