Viralytics has investigated a range of Coxsackievirus oncolytic immunotherapeutics for cancer treatment due their targeted oncolytic activity. Viralytics holds the intellectual property rights to 5 Coxsackieviruses including CVA13, 15, 18 and 21 (CAVATAK®) and Echovirus 1 (EVATAKTM).
EVATAK™ is an ECHOvirus – ECHO is an acronym for ‘enteric cytopathic human orphan’. Orphan was used to describe the virus as it is not linked to any human disease, and hence as oncolytic immunotherapy is not expected to result in side effects of any significance. EVATAKTM binds specifically to the integrin α2β1 (alpha 2 beta 1) receptor. This receptor is found in high levels on ovarian, prostate and gastric cancer cells and preclinical studies have shown that EVATAKTM destroys these cancer cells and so has the potential to be a useful therapeutic for these cancers.
While all these viruses have been assessed in preclinical studies the Coxsackievirus (CVA21) demonstrated most potential and as such became Viralytics Lead Product for clinical development.