PsiOxus received a £1.8 million (about $2.8 million) award from The Wellcome Trust to support early clinical development of its oncolytic virus candidate ColoAd1. The grant will fund a Phase I/II trial to evaluate ColoAd1 against metastatic colorectal cancer. Phase I/II studies are expected to start during 2012. PsiOxus says it is also planning clinical trials in patients with other solid tumor types, in particular primary hepatocellular cancer and ovarian cancer.
ColoAd1 is a highly potent broad-spectrum oncolytic virus developed using the evolutionary principle of natural selection to generate a virus with optimal anticancer properties. Originally developed in collaboration with Bayer Schering, ColoAd1 is the firm’s lead candidate based on the directed evolution process. It is currently in late preclinical development.
In September PsiOxus inked a manufacturing deal with Ark Therapeutics for the production of ColoAd1 for clinical studies. Under terms of this agreement Ark and Psioxus aim to develop an IV formulation of the adenovirus-based product.