Our lead candidate is a chimeric vaccinia (pox) virus known as CF33, developed by Professor Yuman Fong, at the prestigious City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California.
Vaccinia is a genetically stable double stranded DNA virus of the Poxviridae family. It has a track record of safe use in millions of humans as it was the active constituent of the vaccine that eradicated smallpox, one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity and was the first oncolytic virus demonstrating viral oncolysis in the laboratory in 1922.
Vaccinia has a short well characterised life cycle and spreads rapidly from cell to cell, but does not integrate into the host’s genome. It is highly cytolytic for a broad range of tumor cell types. It has the potential to act as both a gene therapy delivery vehicle and oncolytic agent.
CF33 is a combination of genomic sequences from multiple vaccinia virus strains to generate a new, safer and more potent virus. CF33 has two genes, Human Sodium-Iodide Symporter (hNIS) to enable imaging to track the virus in vivo and mediate targeted radiotherapy, as well as anti PD-L1 to enable enhancement of anti-cancer immunotherapy. We have both CF33 candidates; CF33 with aPD-L1 and CF33 without engineered aPD-L1 for development.
Safety has been demonstrated in a number of pre-clinical trials and there is evidence for both a local and systemic anti-tumor response.
Through the use of CF33, we hope to improve the clinical benefits and quality of life for patients with cancers that are difficult to treat using current therapeutic approaches.