Industry Spotlight  |
Tumour Microenvironment

Positive Phase I Data from Oncolytic Virotherapy Trial

Edited by Tom Cohen |
07 November 2023
TILT-123, an oncolytic virotherapy, has shown promising results from a phase I clinical trial which treats solid tumours in patients that have exhausted other options.

Finnish biotech TILT therapeutics has presented data from its phase I clinical trial of its oncolytic virotherapy TILT-123 which activates T cells for the treatment of advanced solid tumours.

The data, unveiled in four posters at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 2023 conference, showcased both the safety and efficacy of TILT-123 for patients who had exhausted typical treatment options.

Safety, the study’s primary endpoint was established by day 85 which factored in adverse events, vital signs, laboratory values and electrocardiogram. Tumour response, neutralizing antibodies, biopsy, virus persistence in blood, and shedding were all among the methods of analysis for its secondary endpoints.

Immune response and anti-tumour activity across multiple cancer types was noted by the first poster. Furthermore, the oncolytic virotherapy showed efficacy as a monotherapy in both injected and non-injected tumours

As oncolytic viruses like TILT-123 exhibit good tolerability, it is likely that they will make good combination therapies. TILT’s therapy is no exception, and the company has committed to trials of such combinatorial clinical trials.

TILT-123 is an oncolytic virotherapy which encodes for interleukin-2 (IL-2) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). These proteins help stimulate the tumour microenvironment for cancer killing by recruiting and activating T cells. TILT’s virus is engineered to infect and kill tumour cells while creating this immune-stimulatory environment.

Akseli Hemminki is founder and CEO of TILT, who has also treated cancer patients in the clinic using oncolytic viruses, said: “These results from our TUNIMO trial are extremely promising. Our approach shows the potential to make a significant impact in the fight against advanced solid tumours.”

TUNIMO, their open-label phase I clinical trial, recruited 20 patients to test the safety and efficacy of the oncolytic virus across a broad range of cancer types, the most common being: sarcomas (35%), melanoma (15%) and ovarian cancer (10%).

“We are dedicated to advancing the field of cancer immunotherapy and will continue to explore combination therapies and innovative treatment strategies. We thank the patients, and all our academic, clinical, and industry collaborators for their critical contributions to the studies,” added Hemminki.

Targets & Cell Types in Immuno-Oncology: With new and emerging targets and drug candidates in immuno-oncology, key opinion leaders from pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as academic and research organisations will be presenting on innovative approaches and methods for target identification and validation.

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