Oncorus, Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based oncolytic virus company, closed a $79.5m Series B financing.
The round was co led by Cowen Healthcare Investments and Perceptive Advisors, with participation from Oncorus’ syndicate of Series A investors including MPM Capital, UBS Oncology Impact Fund, Deerfield Management, Arkin Bioventures, Celgene and Astellas Venture Management and new investors Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Sphera Funds, IMM Investment, QUAD Investment Management, UTC Investment, SV Investment Corp. and Shinhan Investment-Private Equity.
Robert L. Kirkman, M.D. and Spencer Nam, M.B.A. will join Oncorus’ Board of Directors as part of this round of financing. Dr. Kirkman currently serves as Executive Chairman of Trillium Therapeutics, Inc. and was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncothyreon, Inc. Mr. Nam is a Managing Partner of KSV Global and previously worked as a senior research fellow at the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its lead candidate, ONCR-177, into the clinic in early 2020.
Led by Theodore (Ted) Ashburn, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, and and Mitchell H. Finer, Ph.D., co-founder, founding CEO and Executive Chairman, Oncorus is developing ONCR-177, an intratumorally administered oncolytic virus clinical candidate for multiple solid tumor indications. This is built on the company’s next-generation oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) platform, which enables the development of oncolytic viruses with high payload capacity for potent activation of multiple arms of the immune system.
Oncorus’ oHSV platform also enables full replication competency and selective attenuation in normal tissues to cause not only direct tumor destruction, but also exposure of all neoantigens within a tumor to the immune system in a highly immune activating environment.
The company also intends to progress its innovative synthetic oncolytic virus platform, which employs a novel delivery methodology to enable repeat, intravenous (systemic) administration of oncolytic viruses for the treatment of cancers, particularly in indications such as lung cancer where repeat, intratumoral administration is not feasible.