Vyriad has announced the signing of a license collaboration agreement with Imanis Life Sciences to develop in vitro and in vivo theranostic tests that assess the probability that a cancer patient will be responsive to Vyriad’s oncolytic virus therapeutics. The tests use recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses that have been engineered to incorporate theranostically informative reporter genes and permit their safe handling as diagnostic reagents in the hospital laboratory setting.
The test kits are being developed and preclinically validated at Imanis Life Sciences, while clinical validation is anticipated in Vyriad-sponsored clinical trials through 2017 and beyond. Under the terms of the agreement, Imanis Life Sciences will use its proprietary virus technology to develop and preclinically validate companion diagnostic tests that can be used to predict the likelihood of a clinical response to oncolytic virotherapy. Vyriad will select one or two test formats for further evaluation in Vyriad-sponsored clinical trials to determine their predictive power.
Vyriad plans to pursue clinical validation and regulatory approval for the tests in the human and veterinary settings. Once approved, Imanis will grant Vyriad a nonexclusive license to use the companion diagnostic tests to accelerate development of its proprietary oncolytic viruses derived from the company’s vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), measles virus, or other Vyriad platforms. Financial details of the relationship were not disclosed.
“We are excited to initiate this collaboration with Imanis Life Sciences for the development of theranostic tests that will help us to streamline patient selection and maximize response rates in Vyriad-sponsored oncolytic virotherapy clinical trials,” said Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad.
“For the first time, we will be able to focus our efforts on those patients with a higher probability of deriving clinical benefit from our drugs while avoiding treating patients that are not likely to respond to them. We strongly expect that pairing our oncolytic virotherapies with theranostic tests being developed in this collaboration will greatly accelerate the pathway to FDA marketing approval for our oncolytic virotherapy products.”
“This collaboration has provided Imanis with an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate our theranostic test development program all the way through to full clinical validation in Vyriad-sponsored clinical trials,” said Kah Whye Peng, PhD, COO of Imanis Life Sciences. “We are very pleased to be working with Vyriad in this truly synergistic collaboration.”