ViraTherapeutics, an Innsbruck, (Austria)-based biopharmaceutical company developing cancer immunotherapies based on oncolytic (cancer-destroying) viruses, raised €3.6m in the first closing of its Series A financing round.
The round was co-led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and EMBL Ventures, with participation from Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) through its Venture-Capital-Initiative.
Created in 2013 as a spin-out from the Medical University of Innsbruck, ViraTherapeutics develops oncolytic cancer vaccines based on a chimeric virus derived from the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) called VSV-GP.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its lead product VSV-GP through pre-clinical studies prior to clinical Phase 1b testing to demonstrate early clinical proof of concept. ViraT expects to start its first clinical trials with VSV-GP in cancer patients in 2017.
VSV-GP is an oncolytic virus that carries the surface protein from the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). VSV-GP, due to this LCMV pseudo-typing, could be the first oncolytic virus therapeutic to be administered systemically on a repeated basis without its cancer killing properties being inactivated by the patient’s immune system.
It has recently been awarded a €1.6m financing from the Austrian Research Promoting Agency (Research Studio Austria) and the aws Seedfinancing programme.