German Biotech Tops Up its Oncolytic Virus with Immuno-Oncology Drugs

oncolytic virus

Oryx has reported good clinical data on the combination of its oncolytic virus with immuno-oncology drugs, convincing the biotech to start clinical trials.

Based in Munich, Oryx is developing cancer immunotherapies for a number of solid tumors consisting of oncolytic viruses and peptide vaccines. The company just announced positive clinical data for 16 patients treated under compassionate use programs with its oncolytic viral therapy, ParvOryx, in combination with Roche’s VEGF-antibody bevacizumab and/or with immune checkpoint inhibitors Keytruda (Merck) or Opdivo (BMS). The promising results have encouraged Oryx to start up a controlled clinical study.

Oryx’ viral therapy, ParvOryx, consists of a wild-type rat oncolytic virus that specifically infects and lyses tumor cells. The virus has already cleared a Phase I/IIa trial to treat glioblastoma multiforme and is currently in Phase I/IIa for metastatic pancreatic cancer. Based on the new data, Oryx is positive that its viral therapy could boost current immunotherapies.

However, biotech companies are already lining up to develop the next combination therapy that could outperform first-generation immunotherapies. German Noxxon just entered a deal with Merck & Co to combine PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda with its new CXCL12 inhibitor to treat pancreatic and colorectal cancer. Meanwhile, Vaximm recently partnered with Merck KGaA to combine its vaccine candidate VXM01 with new checkpoint inhibitor avelumab in a Phase I/II trial in glioblastoma and colorectal cancer.

Images via shutterstock.com /  Kateryna Kon

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