Biotechs Collaborate to Develop Multifunctional Cancer Immunotherapies

Transgene vectorizes Randox antibodies to make them more effective tumor killers.

European based biotechs Transgene and Randox plan to collaborate in the oncology space, announcing in early October their intention to combine the company’s respective technologies and develop multifunctional oncolytic immunotherapies. Oncolytic viruses (OVs) infect and kill cancer cells. According to the two companies, the innovative OVs resulting from the collaboration will use Transgene’s Invir.IOTM platform to vectorize Randox’s single-domain antibodies (SdAbs) to better target and attack immunosuppressed solid tumors.

Under the agreement’s terms, Transgene will use its proprietary Vaccinia (TK-, RR-) virus strain, its “expertise in molecular engineering” and translational research capabilities to develop novel anticancer oncolytic virus drugs with increased oncolytic properties.

Additionally, noted the release, the viral strain is capable of guiding multiple therapeutic payloads (or, “anticancer weapons”) to be delivered to the tumor. Randox said it will make available its collection of new and future immunotherapeutic SdAbs to be used as therapeutic payloads. Randox said its SdAbs have the potential to modulate the patient’s immune response and produce a powerful synergistic effect with Transgene’s oncolytic viral platform.

Eric Quéméneur, Transgene’s EVP of R&D commented on the collaboration. “We look forward to working with Randox and to generating novel product candidates which combine the merits of oncolytic virotherapy and local delivery of therapeutic payloads. We believe such targeted expression of therapeutic agents, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, will better potentiate the tumor microenvironment and paves the way for the development of a broad range of innovative cancer treatments.”

Transgene said novel OV therapeutics, generated by the collaboration are potentially much more effective than combinations of single agents. Transgene proof-of-concept data showed its Vaccinia virus demonstrated better overall survival than compared to separate, single agents. Transgene’s technology, said the companies, paves a better immunosuppressive pathway to target cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Through the local expression of one or more SdAbs in the TME, the viral approach optimizes the effectiveness of the therapeutic agents, thus reducing side effects.

Offering his thoughts, Managing Director and Founder of Randox Laboratories, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, noted the promise brought about via the therapy. “This collaboration will enable ground-breaking innovation and research to be carried out in a critical area of human health. The work we will be doing in the field of cancer treatment has the potential for enormous benefit for patients, by delivering more effective treatments.”


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