Gene Mediated Cytotoxic Immunotherapy (“GMCI™”)
Stimulation of a precise and robust "personalized" attack on cancer
The immune system plays an important role in controlling cancer - but sometimes it needs help. As cancer grows and becomes stronger, it develops multiple ways to evade the immune system. Oncolytic Immunotherapy is an innovative approach to disrupt the tumor and awaken the immune system - tipping the balance in favor of the patient—and against the cancer.
We are focused on harnessing viruses to fight cancer based on their ability to efficiently infect and kill cells and their ability to stimulate the immune system against the cancer. The viruses that we use have been genetically modified to minimize impact on healthy tissue while maximizing their anti-tumor and immune stimulatory properties.
Gene Mediated Cytotoxic Immunotherapy (“GMCI™”):
a Clinically Advanced Solid Tumor Immunotherapy
The GMCI approach uses a common cold virus that has been modified so that it cannot replicate and so that it delivers a genetic cargo from the Herpes virus (tk). When this modified virus (AdV-tk) infects tumors, the TK protein is manufactured inside the cells. Patients then receive an oral activating agent that triggers a precise and robust immune response against the patient’s cancer by destroying tumor cells and cause the release of tumor associated antigens - protein “tags” that enable a patient’s immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells. By creating an immunogenic tumor microenvironment, GMCI will generate an attack against many of the patient’s dominant tumor associated antigens, making antigen escape and tolerance to the therapy much less likely. The same product can be used to treat virtually all solid tumor patients.
rQNestin34.5: an Oncolytic HSV with Enhanced Potency
Advantagene (d.b.a. Candel Therapeutics) is also developing a second technology called rQNestin34.5, a virus that has been engineered for enhanced potency in cancer cells while not harming normal cells. Much like GMCI, rQNestin34.5 enables a patient’s immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells. Unlike the viral component of GMCI, rQNestin34.5 is able to replicate, self-amplify and target cancer cells through multiple rounds of infection. The potency of rQNestin34.5 is further enhanced by expression a key viral virulence factor (ICP34.5) in certain types of cancer and not normal healthy cells. This and other modifications to the virus maximize potency when encountering cancer cells while sparing normal healthy cells.