Transgene and Randox to develop innovative multifunctional oncolytic virotherapies for solid tumors

Novel oncolytic virotherapies will be developed by Transgene, based on its next generation Invir.IO Platform and expressing Randox’ single-domain antibodies (SdAb)

Transgene, a biotech company that designs and develops viral-based immunotherapies, and Randox, a global leader in in vitro diagnostics, have entered into a collaboration to combine their technologies and develop multifunctional oncolytic immunotherapies. Innovative oncolytic viruses (OVs) resulting from this collaboration will use Transgene’s proprietary next generation viral platform Invir.IO in which one or more of Randox’s SdAbs (single-domain antibodies) will be vectorised. The immunotherapies resulting from this collaboration will combine the oncolytic effect of the viruses with the properties of the vectorised SdAbs that will be locally expressed in the tumor microenvironment (TME) with the aim of treating immunosuppressed solid tumors.

Under the terms of the agreement, Transgene will develop novel anticancer oncolytic virus drugs using its proprietary Vaccinia virus (TK-, RR-) strain, and its expertise in molecular engineering and translational research. This novel viral strain offers increased oncolytic properties. In addition, its large genome capacity, which is very differentiating, enables multiple therapeutic payloads ('anticancer weapons') to be delivered in the tumor, where the virus replicates. Randox will provide expertise in antibody engineering and make available its collection of new and future immunotherapeutic SdAbs to be used as vectorised payloads. These SdAbs have the potential to modulate the patient’s immune response and produce a powerful synergistic effect with Transgene's oncolytic viral platform.

Transgene’s Invir.IO technology is an efficient way to target immunosuppressive pathways directly in the tumor microenvironment. By locally expressing one or several SdAbs in the TME, the viral-based approach promises to optimise the efficacy of the encoded therapeutic agents, while reducing their associated side effects, often reported after systemic administration.

Randox's library of SdAbs against major targets in immuno-oncology provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the high potential of the Transgene Invir.IO platform

Novel OV products generated from the collaboration have the potential to be significantly more effective than a combination of single agents. Transgene previously reported a preclinical proof-of-concept data showing that an oncolytic Vaccinia virus encoding a sequence of anti-PD1 demonstrated better overall survival than the combination of separate single agents.

Eric Quéméneur, PhD, Executive VP and VP Research & Development of Transgene, said: "We are delighted to collaborate with Randox. Its library of SdAbs against major targets in immuno-oncology provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the high potential of our Invir.IO platform. We look forward to working with Randox and to generating novel product candidates which combine the merits of oncolytic virotherapy and local delivery of therapeutic payloads."

Commenting on the agreement, Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director and Founder of Randox Laboratories, said: "This collaboration will enable ground-breaking innovation and research to be carried out in a critical area of human health. The work we will be doing in the field of cancer treatment has the potential for enormous benefit for patients, by delivering more effective treatments."