ROCHESTER, Minn. — August 16, 2016 — Vyriad announced today the signing of a license collaboration agreement with Imanis Life Sciences to develop in vitro and in vivo theranostic tests that assess the probability that a cancer patient will be responsive to Vyriad’s oncolytic virus therapeutics. The tests use recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses that have been engineered to incorporate theranostically informative reporter genes and permit their safe handling as diagnostic reagents in the hospital laboratory setting. The test kits are being developed and preclinically validated at Imanis Life Sciences, while clinical validation is anticipated in Vyriad-sponsored clinical trials through 2017 and beyond.
Under the terms of the agreement, Imanis Life Sciences will use its proprietary virus technology to develop and preclinically validate companion diagnostic tests that can be used to predict the likelihood of a clinical response to oncolytic virotherapy. Vyriad will select one or two test formats for further evaluation in Vyriad-sponsored clinical trials to determine their predictive power. Vyriad plans to pursue clinical validation and regulatory approval for the tests in the human and veterinary settings. Once approved, Imanis will grant Vyriad a nonexclusive license to use the companion diagnostic tests to accelerate development of its proprietary oncolytic viruses derived from the company’s vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), measles virus, or other Vyriad platforms. Financial details of the relationship were not disclosed.
“We are excited to initiate this collaboration with Imanis Life Sciences for the development of theranostic tests that will help us to streamline patient selection and maximize response rates in Vyriad-sponsored oncolytic virotherapy clinical trials,” said Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad. “For the first time, we will be able to focus our efforts on those patients with a higher probability of deriving clinical benefit from our drugs while avoiding treating patients that are not likely to respond to them. We strongly expect that pairing our oncolytic virotherapies with theranostic tests being developed in this collaboration will greatly accelerate the pathway to FDA marketing approval for our oncolytic virotherapy products.”
“This collaboration has provided Imanis with an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate our theranostic test development program all the way through to full clinical validation in Vyriad-sponsored clinical trials,” said Kah Whye Peng, PhD, COO of Imanis Life Sciences. “We are very pleased to be working with Vyriad in this truly synergistic collaboration.”
About Imanis Life Sciences
Imanis Life Sciences (www.imanislife.com) is a biotechnology company providing products and contract research services in reporter gene imaging and oncolytic virotherapy to support research and drug development in the fields of gene therapy, virotherapy, and regenerative medicine. Imanis specializes in reporter gene imaging technologies and virology, and its products include authenticated reporter gene cell lines, lentiviral vectors, antibodies, and plasmids. Imanis also provides contract research services to make custom products or assays to support customers’ research needs in reporter gene imaging and oncolytic virotherapy. Imanis’ team of scientists develops innovative products and provides scientific input and technical support to help investigators accelerate their research. Imanis holds exclusive intellectual property rights in the NIS sodium iodide symporter reporter gene technology and VSV diagnostic and reagents, and licenses in several key areas of its portfolio, including recombinant oncolytic viruses, cell lines, and NIS antibodies.
Vyriad is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel oncolytic virus therapies for the treatment of cancers that have significant unmet need. Vyriad’s oncolytic immunovirotherapy products are based on the company’s engineered Oncolytic Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) and Oncolytic Measles Virus platforms that enable selective destruction of cancer cells without harming normal tissues. Vyriad’s product development pipeline encompasses multiple clinical- and preclinical-stage programs that target a broad range of cancer indications as well as programs that pair the company’s oncolytic viruses with other cancer immunotherapy modalities, traditional cancer therapy, and newer targeted therapies. In addition, Vyriad is developing novel diagnostic/theranostic tests for more accurate prediction of immunovirotherapy response. Clinical trials using the company’s oncolytic viruses are under way at Mayo Clinic and the University of Arkansas. For more information, please visit www.vyriad.com.