Oncovita and Institut Pasteur announce the creation of a joint laboratory dedicated to cancer immunotherapy and prophylactic vaccinology

Oncovita and Institut Pasteur announce the creation of a joint laboratory dedicated to cancer immunotherapy and prophylactic vaccinology

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Paris, 29 May 2024 – Dedicated to the research of new immunotherapeutic vaccines in oncology and prophylactic vaccines for contagious diseases, the aim of the joint Institut Pasteur – Oncovita laboratory is to design and develop  vaccine candidates through to proof of concept in humans.

Oncovita and the Institut Pasteur have already been working together for several years on the construction and development of new vaccines based on MeasovirR technology, based on the measles vaccine virus.

The first candidate under development by Oncovita, MVdeltaC, is an immunotherapeutic treatment for solid tumors and has demonstrated remarkable immunogenic oncolysis properties in human or syngeneic tumor models, e.g. mesothelioma, bladder, neuroblastoma, etc.  The production method in accordance with good manufacturing practice (GMP)  is under development in order to initiate  the first clinical trial.  Other candidates have already been  constructed and are undergoing preclinical evaluation, against  HPV induced cancers  or infectious diseases.

The joint Institut Pasteur – Oncovita laboratory will also be carrying out research into viral defective interfering RNAs (DI-RNAs) produced by modified recombinant measles viruses. Dr. Anastasia Komarova, director of the joint laboratory, has shown that modified viruses from the measles platform generate large quantities of these DI-RNAs, which could constitute a new generation of innovative therapeutic candidates.

Isabelle Buckle, Director of Research Applications and Industrial Relations at the Institut Pasteur, said: “The creation of this joint laboratory is intended to strengthen and perpetuate a collaboration already established with Oncovita, which has borne fruit in terms of innovation. It’s a good model for ‘de-risking’ the science that comes out of a laboratory and bringing solutions to patients. The arrival of Dr Le Bigot, the founder of the Citoxlab group, as Chairman of Oncovita reinforces our ambitious strategy.”.

According to Dr Jean-François Le Bigot,  Chairman of Oncovita: “The joint Institute Pasteur-Oncovita laboratory, which is co-financed and co-directed, gives us access to the greatest potential in France for research in vaccinology, whether therapeutic or prophylactic.  They are great hopes for applications in oncology with two products based on  oncolytic viruses recently registered in the USA and Japan by pharmaceutical companies”.

For Pr. Frédéric Tangy, Scientific Director of Oncovita and Co-Director of the joint laboratory who is behind the MeasovirR technology: “this is a new therapeutic class which come to maturity in oncology. Beyond the efficacy of oncolytic viruses themselves, it is important to investigate the potential synergies with other treatments, in particular with check-point inhibitors, as this could increase significantly the efficacy of therapeutic protocols while decreasing their toxicity which is often the critical factor of their usage”.

About Oncovita :

Oncovita is a biotechnology company dedicated to the design and development of new therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines against various types of cancers and contagious diseases. Its vaccine candidates are developed using a proprietary technology platform, MeasovirR, which enables the genome of the measles vaccine virus to be modified.  This plug-and-play platform has the capacity to generate candidates with high apoptotic immunogenic activity. Oncovita’s mission is to develop its candidates from the preclinical phase through to clinical proof of concept.  At the end of 2023, the company was the winner of the ‘Innovations in biotherapies and bioproduction’ call for projects under the France 2030 Health Innovation Plan and received €4.5 million in funding as part of the France 2030 investment plan, operated by Bpifrance. At the same time, Oncovita raised €3.5 million from private investors. These two rounds of financing, totalling €8 million, will enable the company to support the development of its MVdeltaC immunotherapeutic vaccine in oncology.