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Published On: Mon, Sep 2nd, 2019

Valo Therapeutics licenses PeptiENV technology from the University of Helsinki

Valo Therapeutics (Valo Tx) has licensed proprietary PeptiENV technology from Helsinki University that is designed to facilitate the coating of enveloped viruses with antigens associated with tumour.

The Finnish immuno-oncology company, which is a spin-out company from the -based University of Helsinki, is focused on developing tumour antigen-coated oncolytic viruses as therapeutic .

Previously, Valo Therapeutics in-licenced its PeptiCRAd technology designed to use with adenoviruses from the Helsinki-based university.

The PeptiENV technology is expected to enhance the therapeutic response to enveloped oncolytic viruses in the treatment of various types of cancer, said Valo Therapeutics.

University of Helsinki offloads PeptiENV technology to Valo Therapeutics

University of Helsinki offloads PeptiENV technology to Valo Therapeutics. Photo courtesy of MyName (Mahlum)/Wikipedia.org.

Dr Michael Stein – CEO of Valo Therapeutics said: “We are excited by the potential of the PeptiENV technology to expand the capability of the PeptiCRAd cancer vaccination platform by enabling its application across enveloped viruses. This acquisition of novel IP is a natural extension of our approach to develop new and improved therapeutic options for cancer patients.”

In 2018, a study showed the functionality of PeptiENV in conjunction with oncolytic vaccinia virus and herpes simplex virus. T-VEC, which was approved for the treatment of metastatic , is an example of the technology.

The data in the study indicated that triggering of a tumour specific immune response against cancer cells is more effective with PeptiENV in comparison to only uncoated enveloped oncolytic viruses alone.

Professor Vincenzo Cerullo – the inventor of the PeptiENV technology with Dr Erkko Ylösmäki, said: “One of the biggest hurdles in the clinical use of cancer vaccination is being overcome through the ability to expose cancer cells to immune surveillance using checkpoint inhibitors.

As the neoantigen field continues to explode, the focus is on the identification of potent adjuvants to enable the activation of a cancer specific CD8+ T cell response that is strong enough to completely clear cancer cells. Oncolytic viruses in combination with neoantigens are potent stimulators of an immune response and therefore make excellent adjuvants.”

According to Valo Therapeutics, the use of various viruses carrying a neoantigen target has been demonstrated to enhance the T-cell immune response to specific cancers and are likely to provide superior therapeutic clinical outcomes when combined with checkpoint inhibitors to be used as adjuvants.

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