Immuno-oncology News: Valo Therapeutics Developing Unique Viral-particle Cancer Vaccine
Author: Ines Martins, PhD.
A new cancer vaccine that uses viral particles to trigger strong immune responses against cancer cells is being developed by Valo Therapeutics. The company recently closed a seed-funding round that involved forging multiple strategic partnerships with world-class investors in the field.
“We invested into Valo Tx because the business concept is novel, with potential for enormous impact; and it is backed by a highly experienced team,” Dr. Paul Porter, director of Freeman Road, said in a news release. Freeman, a family consortium with extensive experience in healthcare technology, is a primary Investor in Valo Therapeutics.
Oncolytic viruses are viral particles designed to contain cancer proteins inside their capsules. When antigen-presenting cells — immune cells that activate cytotoxic T-cells toward a specific target — engulf the viral particles, the particles present viral and cancer proteins at their surface. The viral proteins activate T-cells against the virus, and the cancer proteins activate T-cells against the cancer.
With current treatment methods, most proteins presented to T-cells are of viral origin. That means most T-cells will be activated to target the viral particles rather than the cancer cells.
The novel oncolytic-virotherapy approach, known as PeptiCRAd, contains tumor proteins attached to the surface of the virus. This means most of the proteins presented to T-cells are tumor proteins, so most of the immune response will be directed against the tumor.