Western Oncolytics develops novel therapies for cancer. We take cutting-edge treatments that show promise in early laboratory research and demonstrate their value to patients in clinical trials. We expect that our technology, novel immuno-oncolytic therapies, can extend the lives of, or outright cure, patients across a wide range of cancer types, while avoiding the severe side effects common with current cancer therapies. Thus, we aim to use the most sophisticated science to give life and hope to cancer patients.
With the advent of genetic engineering, viruses have been designed to infect only cancer cells while also delivering therapeutic genes. Several such therapies have demonstrated efficacy in randomized patient trials. This approach can be ideal for treating cancers that are spreading (metastic), and holds promise to be more effective and tolerable than any currently available therapy.
Western Oncolytics is developing three pre-clinical stage therapies based on modified vaccinia virus:
Designed specifically to target STAT3 protein activity, enhancing viral therapeutic activity while triggering an immunotherapeutic response. Higher STAT3 levels are associated with many cancers, and levels of active STAT3 correlate with worse prognoses for patients. Additional genetic modifications result in a novel targeted delivery system, directing the viral therapy to the tumor and then enhancing its spread within the tumor.
Designed to amplify the virus’s direct therapeutic effects in cancer cells while also increasing tumor sensitivity to established oncology drugs, such as many chemotherapies or immunotherapies. While capable of treating nearly any solid tumor, early evidence suggests particular promise for intraperitoneal cancers and obese patients, a patient population for whom most existing therapies are less effective.
Incorporates multiple transgenes and modifications to activate and modify the patient’s immune system to better respond to cancer. This technology is currently in a development collaboration with Pfizer, Inc. (watch video)
Graduated from Duke in three years while studying Biomedical Engineering and working part-time. Hands-on lab experience using viral vectors to deliver genes to cells. MBA from IMD, a one year program in Lausanne, Switzerland. International network and experience including strategy, business development, project management, product development and start-ups.
Professor of Surgery and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. PhD from Imperial College of London, Postdocs at Surrey University, Cancer Research UK, Veteran’s Affairs Hospital (Palo Alto), and Stanford. Consulting experience in this field includes a company with a product currently in late-stage trials. Author on more than 65 scientific publications in the field. Invented our lead technology, the WO-12.
Advanced over 50 drugs into clinical trials during 25 years of experience starting at Bristol-Myers and including Eli Lilly and several biotech companies. Managed the development of small molecules, biologics, gene therapies, and vaccines while coordinating with FDA. Author on more than 50 research articles in drug development and consultant to a range of companies. PhD from SUNY Upstate Medical University.
Former FDA Director at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and VP of Regulatory Affairs at Human Genome Sciences. Specific expertise in vaccines and gene therapy. Serves on the Steering Committee for the NIH National Gene Vector Laboratory and is a member of the Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Committee of the American Society of Gene Therapy. PhD from UNC Chapel Hill and 25 years experience across industry, academia, and government.