ROCHESTER, Minn. — August 5, 2016 — Vyriad today announced an exclusive global license agreement with StingInn, LLC for StingInn’s STING oncolytic virus technology for use in Vyriad’s oncolytic virotherapy product candidates for the treatment of advanced-stage cancers.
The cGAS (cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase)-STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes) signaling pathway is a recently discovered component of the innate immune system that activates the elimination of infectious viruses. StingInn’s technology is capable of activating the cGAS-STING pathway inside a tumor, thereby amplifying the anti-tumor immune response. Vyriad will leverage this technology to develop advanced oncolytic virotherapy product candidates that have the ability to activate immune system cells to achieve enhanced tumor cell clearance for improved patient outcomes.
Under the terms of the agreement, StingInn has granted Vyriad an exclusive worldwide research license to StingInn’s technology for the development of novel recombinant oncolytic viruses encoding STING. In addition to the exclusive license agreement, Vyriad has also secured an equity position in StingInn. Additional details about the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with Vyriad to combine its platform virus technologies with our expertise in innate immunity to rapidly translate promising leads into clinical testing,” said Glen Barber, President and CEO of StingInn. “We believe the cGAS-STING technology provides the most direct and powerful pathway to stimulating the innate immune response in a tumor.”
“We are continually looking for opportunities to advance oncolytic virotherapy for patients and see this license as another important step in building our viral platforms,” said Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad. “We are delighted to work with StingInn and with Dr. Barber, a world-renowned virologist in VSV virotherapy and a scientific cofounder of Vyriad, and we look forward to this exclusive opportunity to incorporate this cutting-edge technology into our viral platforms.”
StingInn, LLC is developing drugs that modulate innate immune responses by impacting the cGAS-STING pathway. Activators of the STING pathway can be used to powerfully stimulate anticancer immunity, whereas inhibitors can be used to suppress unwanted autoinflammatory responses. The company has an ongoing drug discovery program in which it is using a proprietary STING pathway modulator screen to identify small molecule inhibitors and activators of the STING pathway. The company is also focused on the development of mechanisms that can locally activate the STING pathway inside a tumor.
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.