Orca Therapeutics receives VCN License

September 30, 2009

ORCA Therapeutics BV a biopharmaceutical company in the field of virotherapy, announces that it has obtained an exclusive license from VCN Biosciences SL of Gelida (Barcelona), Spain, to their T1 oncolytic adenovirus technology for the treatment of cancer. This license allows ORCA Therapeutics to develop and commercialize new, next generation oncolytic adenoviruses with increased oncolytic potency.

“We are very excited to have in-licensed this technology from VCN Biosciences. Securing this intellectual property will enhance our competitive position in virotherapy” said Dr Janneke Meulenberg, CEO of ORCA Therapeutics “We now have the unique opportunity to combine our oncolytic adenovirus technology and know-how with VCN Biosciences’ state of the art T1 technology to develop more effective oncolytic adenoviruses for treatment of cancer.”

“We have been looking for a company whose intellectual property could be combined with our T1 technology to accelerate its clinical application. The partnership with ORCA has grown out of a fruitful scientific collaboration between the founders of ORCA and VCN Biosciences leading to the present agreement that prioritizes clinical translation and gives both partners a good opportunity to grow”, said Dr Manel Cascallo, CEO of VCN Biosciences.

T1 technology
Oncolytic adenoviruses are engineered to replicate selectively in cancer cells. They kill these cells by their inherent capacity to lyse their host cell. Upon destroying infected cancer cells, progeny viruses are released that in turn will infect and kill adjacent cancer cells. This results in a strong anti-cancer effect. The T1 technology provides a novel mechanism to increase the release of adenovirus from infected tumor cells. A team led by Dr Ramon Alemany and Dr Manel Cascallo from the Catalan Institute of Oncology identified a unique mutation in the endoplasmic reticulum retention domain of the adenovirus E3/19K protein (445A mutation). This mutation causes enhanced oncolytic potency in human tumors and cancer-associated fibroblasts in vitro and enhanced anti- tumor activity when injected intra-tumorally or systemically in different cancer models in vivo (Gros et al., Cancer Research 68:8928–37).

About ORCA Therapeutics
ORCA Therapeutics BV is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2005 and is focused on the development of novel drug candidates for treatment of cancer using Oncolytic Replication Competent Agents (ORCA). ORCA Therapeutics’ technology and IP portfolio originates from the research performed at the Department of Medical Oncology at the VU University Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The company has a platform of technologies that are predominantly based on highly engineered oncolytic adenoviruses. ORCA Therapeutics is currently preparing its lead product ORCA-010 for testing in clinical trials.

About VCN
VCN Biosciences SL has emerged as a spin-off of the Catalan Institute of Oncology and the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge (ICO-IDIBELL) and is focused on the development of oncolytic adenoviruses for cancer treatment; the company initiated its activities in May 2009. Since its inception, its intellectual property portfolio has expanded with different technologies that aim to increase the potency and selectivity of adenoviruses to be used as anti-tumor agents.

For more information, please contact:
ORCA Therapeutics BV
Janneke Meulenberg

VCN Biosciences SL
Manel Cascallo

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