Jennerex Biotherapeutics, Inc. , a San Francisco company, had a bunch of good news about the pipeline of its specially designed vaccinia viruses lately. At first it was positive results from a trial of JX-594, the “proprietary targeted lytic and immunostimulatory armed virus”, deployed in 13 patients with advanced treatment-refractory tumors in the liver (primary and metastatic). And now, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a similar product JX-963 shows promise for treatment of colon cancer after a series of experiments on rabbits.
Here’s a summary about the company’s Vaccinia virotherapeutic technologies “that have been engineered to target, attack and eradicate cancer without harming the surrounding cells”:
Unlike “vectors” or “vaccines”, Jennerex products replicate (multiply) themselves in cancer cells, leading to cancer cell destruction, while normal cells are left unharmed. Our products are activated (“turned on”) by genetic pathways that are critical to the vast majority of human cancers, including common solid tumors such as lung, colon, prostate, breast, pancreas and melanoma. They employ a novel primary mechanism-of-action that is effective even against cancers that are resistant to standard therapies such as chemotherapy, small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, antibodies and radiotherapy. Simultaneously, a therapeutic cascade is initiated by product replication resulting in tumor vasculature shutdown and anti-tumoral immune attack. In addition, we can “arm” our products with therapeutic payloads that destroy cancers by complementary and synergistic mechanisms. As a result, our first-in-class products wage a targeted and multi-pronged attack on cancer.
Jennerex products kill cancer by targeting, attacking and eradicating cancer cells:
Targeting – Jennerex products have been genetically engineered to be active and multiply in the presence of mutations and genetic pathway activations commonly found in the majority of solid cancer types but not in normal cells. Solid tumors are vulnerable to attack and fertile soil for our products to replicate and attack the tumor mass.
Attacking – Targeted virus replication turns cancer cells into therapeutic factories generating thousands of new therapeutic copies which results in the cancer cells exploding (oncolysis) and releasing the new therapeutic copies to target the adjacent cancer cells in the tumor mass. Therapeutic copies also spread within the body to target and attack distant tumor sites.
Eradicating – The primary replication and cancer cell explosion activate a cascade of anti-tumor immune response and blood supply shutdown. In addition, our products express a therapeutic payload simultaneously; these payloads act in concert with the primary oncolysis mechanism to eradicate cancer by multiple mechanisms simultaneously. The result is that tumors are eradicated by a multi-pronged attack.
Product page: Jennerex products …
Press release by the Journal of Clinical Investigation: How to design a cancer-killing virus …
Press release: Jennerex Presents Clinical Data From JX-594 Demonstrating Tumor Efficacy Against Advanced Liver Cancers …
Abstract: Rational strain selection and engineering creates a broad-spectrum, systemically effective oncolytic poxvirus, JX-963 … J. Clin. Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI32727.
(hat tip: Wired)