On Mar.18, 2019, Cold Genesys, an American company developing a form of cancer immunotherapy using genetically engineered viruses, has closed a $22 million round of funding. Lead investor ORI Healthcare Fund led the round, with participation from Perseverance Capital Management.
The company plans to use the money for continuing the development of its oncolytic immunotherapy, CG0070, which has completed a Phase II study in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, also known as NMIBC.
CG0070 is based on a modified common cold adenovirus, which contains a promoter specific to the cancer and a GM-CSF transgene. It is designed to replicate inside the tumor’s cells, causing them to die. When they rupture, they release tumor-derived antigens and the GM-CSF, which thus stimulates a systemic anti-tumor immune response via the body’s own white blood cells.
CG0070 will also be explored in muscle-invasive bladder cancer, in combination with a monoclonal antibody targeting CTLA4. The company is developing a CTLA4 antibody in-house, CG0161. Bristol-Myers Squibb has an approved drug with the same target, Yervoy (ipilimumab).