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Seneca Therapeutics, Inc. Licenses Tumor Endothelial Marker 8 (TEM8) to Enable Better Patient Selection for SVV-001 Therapy

Monday, August 31, 2020

Seneca Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of oncolytic immune-therapeutics based on Seneca Valley Virus (SVV-001), announced the company has licensed TEM 8 intellectual property from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). TEM8 may enable pre-screening of solid tumors to determine if SVV-001 might be effective in that patient. This discovery is based on research from Charles Rudin, MD., Ph.D. and colleagues at MSK. Researchers at MSK discovered that a protein called TEM 8 is the receptor of SVV. This discovery supports other work in the scientific field that TEM 8 is very selectively expressed on the surface of tumor cells in many solid cancer indications. Dr. Rudin and his laboratory demonstrated that the level of expression of TEM 8 and genes in the innate immune system could predict with a high degree of certainty what type of cancer cells would support SVV replication in and killing of the tumor cells. This research, originally published in 2017, will be utilized in upcoming SVV-001 clinical trials to pre-select patients that might best respond to SVV–mediated cancer therapy.

Dr. Rudin is the Sylvia Hassenfeld Professor and Chief of Thoracic Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Rudin and his colleagues have been investigating SVV as a novel and promising cancer immunotherapeutic since 2005. Dr. Rudin said, “I couldn’t be more pleased to see this new exciting enabling technology head toward POC Phase II trials to demonstrate that SVV is efficacious and synergistic with checkpoint inhibitors.”

Dr. Paul Hallenbeck, Founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer at Seneca Therapeutics added, “Unlike most other oncolytic viruses SVV only replicates and kills cells that express TEM 8, namely solid tumor cells. MSK’s technology should also enable the wise selection of cancer indications best able to benefit from SVV therapy and enhance the number of patients that should respond.”

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