Targovax announces publication of new oncolytic virus data in the Journal of Medical Virology and Cancer Gene Therapy

Validation of ONCOS-102 potential to generate tumor-specific immune responses in vivo

Oslo, Norway, 12 September 2018 - Targovax ASA (OSE: TRVX), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing immune activators to target hard to treat solid tumors, is pleased to note that pre-clinical data from its ONCOS oncolytic virus program has been published in two leading, peer reviewed publications, the Journal of Medical Virology and Cancer Gene Therapy.

The first paper, entitled “Antitumor-specific T-cell responses induced by oncolytic adenovirus ONCOS-102 (AdV5/3-D24-GM-CSF) in peritoneal mesothelioma mouse model” was published in the Journal of Medical Virology, [Vol 90:1669–1673, date 24 May 2018]. This paper demonstrates that Targovax’s oncolytic virus, ONCOS-102, induces T-cells specific to the tumor associated antigen (TAA) mesothelin in a mesothelioma mouse model. Mesothelin is overexpressed in many types of cancer, and particularly frequently in mesothelioma. This result provides an important in vivo mechanistic proof that ONCOS-102 can generate a directed T-cell response towards a well-known TAA. The paper can be found here.  

The second paper, entitled “Quantification and functional evaluation of CD40L production from the adenovirus vector ONCOS-401” was published in Cancer Gene Therapy on 30 July 2018. This paper describes one of Targovax’s pre-clinical oncolytic viruses, ONCOS-401, which carries a transgene for CD40-ligand (CD40L), an important signalling molecule activating a wide range of immune and inflammatory responses. The study shows that ONCOS-401 produces functional CD40L, and also describes a rapid and simple assay to quantify the efficacy of CD40L production in vitro. The abstract can be found here.

Magnus Jäderberg, Chief Medical Officer at Targovax, commented:

“The data published in these leading peer reviewed journals provides further scientific evidence for the broad potential of our ONCOS oncolytic virus platform. It is especially encouraging to see evidence of ONCOS-102 generating T-cells activated to recognize the important tumor antigen mesothelin. This is probably the most well-established antigen in mesothelioma, providing important scientific rationale for our ongoing phase II trial in this indication.”

For further information, please contact:
Renate Birkeli, Investor Relations
Phone: +47 922 61 624
Email: renate.birkeli@targovax.com

Media and IR enquires:
Andreas Tinglum - Corporate Communications (Norway)
Phone: +47 9300 1773
Email: andreas.tinglum@corpcom.no

Simon Conway/Stephanie Cuthbert - FTI Consulting (International)
Phone: +44 20 3727 1000
Email: Targovax@fticonsulting.com  

About Targovax

Activating the patient's immune system to fight cance

Targovax (OSE:TRVX) is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing immune activators to target hard to treat solid tumors. Immuno-oncology is currently one of the fastest growing therapeutic fields in medicine.

Targovax’s lead product candidate, ONCOS-102, is a genetically modified oncolytic adenovirus, which has been engineered to selectively infect and replicate in cancer cells. It is used as a therapeutic cancer vaccine and has been shown to activate the immune system to generate tumor-specific immune responses. In phase I trials, ONCOS-102 induced both local and systemic innate and adaptive immune activation, which has been associated with clinical benefit. ONCOS-102’s lead indication is mesothelioma, where the virus is currently being tested in a randomized phase II trial, with a phase Ib safety lead-in cohort. Another trial, in advanced melanoma, is expected to produce important proof of concept data for checkpoint inhibitor refractory patients within the next 6-12 months.

Targovax is also developing a neo-antigen cancer vaccine targeting tumors that express mutated forms of RAS - mutations known to drive cancer. The TG vaccine program has shown a signal of efficacy in a 32-patient trial with TG01 in resected pancreatic cancer. A next generation product candidate, TG02 is currently tested as monotherapy and will also be tested in combination with Keytruda® (an anti-PD1 Check point inhibitor, CPI).