Oncolytic Virus Development
Oncolytic virotherapy is a promising therapeutic approach that uses engineered oncolytic viruses (OVs) to treat malignancies. Recent advances including preclinical proof of feasibility, clinical evidence of tolerability and efficiency, and the development of new engineering strategies to improve OVs safety and efficacy have greatly promoted the development of oncolytic virotherapy. To reduce investment risk and accelerate the process of OVs project, Creative Biolabs provides comprehensive, end-to-end clinical development and preclinical data verification services with a full suite of integrated solutions. Our goal is to help customers optimize their development programs and maximize value and outcomes with the reduction of investment risk.
Mechanisms of Oncolytic Virotherapy
Generally, OVs elicit oncolysis through direct and indirect mechanisms.
OVs have natural tropism or engineered selectivity for tumor cells that favor preferential infection and replication in the tumor compared to normal cells. By hijacking the cell's protein synthesis, the OVs replicate massively in the host cells which may be intrinsically cytotoxic. Finally, the infected host cells will lyse and release many sub-viruses that have the ability to infect other cells, amplifying and propagating the initial effect of infection and oncolysis.
OVs can act as immunomodulators or even tumor vaccines to stimulate a therapeutically relevant tumor-targeting immune response. Infected tumors may become inflamed, releasing an array of cytokines and becoming suffused with immune cells, including cytotoxic T lymphocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and phagocytic cells. Eventually, the upregulation of the innate and adaptive immune systems enhances the systemic antitumor effects.
Fig.1 General mechanisms of oncolysis. (Cockle, 2018)
Direct and indirect mechanisms of tumor-killing provide the rationale for the combination of OVs with cytotoxic, anti-angiogenic and immune therapies in patients with cancer.
Best-studied Families of Oncolytic Viruses
OVs encompass a broad diversity of DNA and RNA viruses with improved specificity and potency. There are three best-studied families that have already entered clinical trials, including oncolytic herpes simplex virus (HSV), adenovirus, and vaccinia virus (VV). They all have their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, which are briefly summarized as follows:
Table.1 Comparison of best-studied OVs
In view of the pros and cons of these OVs, considerable efforts have recently been dedicated to the development of oncolytic viral particles with improved features. Therefore, increasing oncolytic virus projects have been moved into clinical trials, creating an urgent need for project assessment and management.
As a leading CRO company with decades of industry experience, Creative Biolabs provides comprehensive preclinical & clinical assessment services to help reduce investment risk and accelerate the development of OVs project. Our services span early project assessment, preclinical development, clinical development, peri- and post-approval, laboratories and consulting contents.
At Creative Biolabs, our goal is to support programs across a variety of therapeutic areas, and offer a complete range of services with comprehensive expertise in all functional solutions. Our preclinical & clinical assessment services help customers bend the cost and time curve of drug development and optimize value in delivering OVs therapies to improve health.
If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us. We will design a customized, best-fit solution to assess and manage your OVs programs from beginning to end.
Cockle, J. V.; Scott, K. J. What is oncolytic virotherapy? Archives of Disease in Childhood-Education and Practice. 2018, 103(1): 43-45.