VIrttu awarded US patent for next generation of oncolytic viruses

Virttu Biologics Limited a UK biotechnology company with expertise in thefield of oncolytic viruses reports that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the US Patent and Trade Mark Office in respect of US patent application 12/436,382 and Virttu expects the patent to be issued in the fourth quarter 2013.

The patent application arises from a research collaboration between Virttu and  scientists, Dr Bhuvanesh Singh and Dr Ian Ganly, at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York, USA into the possibility of using an oncolytic virus to express antisense sequences to certain oncogenes, particularly the squamous cell carcinoma related oncogene (SCCRO).   Virttu and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research have entered into a license and co-ownership agreement in respect of the collaboration.

SCCRO is believed to be a potent promoter of angiogenesis and is implicated in the formation of a number of tumour types including head and neck and lung squamous cell carcinomas (SCC).   Virttu tested SEPREHVIR® (HSV1716) in a Phase I study in SCC and the research project confirmed the possibility of creating a “next-generation” oncolytic virus, based on HSV1716, which could exploit the cell-killing ability of an oncolytic virus and use the virus as an expression system to “silence” the SCCRO oncogene by expression of antisense sequences.      

Virttu CEO Dr Steven Powell commented:

“With a growing number of companies reporting positive data for the first generation of oncolytic viruses, we are encouraged by the successful outcome of this patent prosecution.  It further demonstrates Virttu’s ability to generate and seek patent protection for a pipeline of enhanced next generation oncolytic virus candidates for future development opportunities.    One of the attractions of HSV-1 as an oncolytic virus is its ability to deliver a large genetic “payload” and Virttu has now generated proof of concept data using SEPREHVIR with a range of transgenes to further “arm” the oncolytic virus.”

The European Patent Office also granted a patent (EP1694852) for this work in October 2010.

Share this article

More services


This article is featured in:
Companies and People


Comment on this article

You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment about this article.