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Targovax and Valo Therapeutics enter collaboration to develop RAS neoantigen coating of ONCOS viruses using PeptiCRAd technology

  • Targovax and Valo Therapeutics intend to run pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies testing mutant RAS peptide coated ONCOS-102 adenovirus
  • If successful, the collaboration could lead to further development of a first-in-class mutant-RAS targeting oncolytic virus

Oslo, Norway, & Helsinki, Finland 22 April 2020 – Targovax ASA (OSE: TRVX), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing oncolytic viruses and cancer vaccines to target hard-to-treat solid tumors, and Valo Therapeutics (Valo Tx) today announce that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to evaluate PeptiCRAd technology as a tool to coat ONCOS oncolytic adenoviruses with Targovax’s TG mutant RAS peptides.  

Valo Tx’s PeptiCRAd technology has been developed to coat oncolytic viruses with tumor antigen peptides for enhanced immune activation and local delivery of antigens directly into the tumor site. With this collaboration, Targovax and Valo Tx will test whether PeptiCRAd coating of ONCOS-102 adenovirus with TG mutant RAS peptides can generate enhanced systemic CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses against mutant RAS, and specifically direct these T-cells to the tumor site.

The technical feasibility, in vitro activity and in vivo immune activation potential of the concept will be evaluated in the first phase of the collaboration. If successful, the parties will jointly determine how to further expand and develop the collaboration to establish a first-in-class oncolytic virus engineered to induce mutant RAS immune responses.

Dr. Anne-Sophie Møller, Head of Clinical Science of Targovax, said: “We are excited to initiate this collaboration with Valo Therapeutics. We continue to view mutant RAS as a very compelling immunotherapeutic target. The innovative PeptiCRAd technology enables us to merge our peptide vaccine and oncolytic virus platforms to generate a truly novel RAS-targeting ONCOS vaccine. The combination of these promising technologies could become a new platform supporting our aspiration to develop novel therapies for hard-to-treat solid tumors.”

Dr. Sari Pesonen, Head of R&D at Valo Tx, commented, “We are delighted that Targovax has chosen to partner with us in the solid tumor space, providing further endorsement of our PeptiCRAd technology. By enabling the coating of ONCOS-102 adenovirus with TG mutant RAS peptides, we have a unique opportunity to take full advantage of the clinically proven immune activation potency of ONCOS-102 by directing the immune responses towards mutant RAS neoantigens, driving enhanced tumor-specific T-cell responses in cancer patients.”

For further information, please contact:
Renate Birkeli, Investor Relations
Phone: +47 922 61 624

Media and IR enquires:
Andreas Tinglum – Corporate Communications (Norway)
Phone: +47 9300 1773


About Targovax

Activating the patient’s immune system to fight cancer

Targovax (OSE:TRVX) is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing oncolytic viruses to target hard-to-treat solid tumors. Targovax’s lead product candidate, ONCOS-102, is a genetically modified oncolytic adenovirus, which has been engineered to selectively infect cancer cells and activate the immune system to fight the cancer.

ONCOS-102 is currently being tested in mesothelioma, melanoma and peritoneal malignancies and has already shown promising clinical results both as monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy, and a checkpoint inhibitor.

About Valo Tx

Valo Therapeutics (Helsinki and Oxford) is an immunotherapy company that is developing antigen-coated oncolytic viruses as anti-cancer therapeutic vaccines. The Valo Tx platform, PeptiCRAd (Peptide-coated Conditionally Replicating Adenovirus), was developed out of the laboratory of Professor Vincenzo Cerullo at the University of Helsinki. It turns oncolytic adenoviruses into targeted tissue specific cancer vaccines without the need to generate and manufacture multiple genetically modified viruses. The company is also developing PeptiENV, among other neoantigen strategies, in collaboration with Professor Cerullo. PeptiENV is expected to improve the therapeutic response to enveloped oncolytic viruses in the treatment of multiple forms of cancer. A film explaining the PeptiCRAd technology can be found here.

Valo Therapeutics

Matthew Vaughan

Scius Communications
Katja Stout
Phone: +44(0)7789435990

Source: Targovax