Mustang Bio, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sign License Agreement for Oncolytic Virus Therapy

February 21, 2019

Mustang intends to combine an oncolytic virus with an interleukin-13 Rα2-(IL13Rα2)-specific chimeric antigen receptor to potentially enhance efficacy in treating glioblastoma multiforme.

On Feb. 20, 2019, Mustang Bio, a clinical‐stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T-cell (CAR-T) immunotherapies and gene therapies, announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a US-based not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care system, to develop an oncolytic virus, C134-an attenuated herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), for treating glioblastoma multiforme.

A Phase I clinical trial evaluating C134 in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme is underway at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), led by James Markert, MD, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at UAB, who developed C134 in collaboration with Kevin Cassady, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. C134 is a second-generation HSV-1 oncolytic virus that has improved replication in tumors in murine models but has the same toxicity profile as its first-generation predecessors. Preclinical studies have shown that it demonstrates direct anti-tumor activity and also elicits an immune response that can reverse tumor-associated immunosuppression.

Subsequent clinical trials will investigate a combination treatment of MB-101 (IL13Rα2-specific CAR) and C134, which has been shown in preclinical studies to have the synergistic potential of an oncolytic virus that can induce an anti-tumor immune response when combined with CAR-T therapy to target solid tumors.

“Oncolytic viruses often trigger an immune response directed at tumors that are otherwise refractory to single-agent immunotherapies. Our oncolytic virus C134 has demonstrated promising preclinical activity and we look forward to working with Mustang to advance its development in the clinic,” Cassady said in a company press release.

“We are very pleased to partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop oncolytic virus C134. We also plan to evaluate oncolytic virus C134 in combination with MB-101 to explore the potential synergies of this novel combination to treat patients with glioblastoma. At Mustang, we are committed to evaluating our CAR-T therapies alone and in combination regimens with the goal of advancing treatment paradigms for cancers without alternate therapies,” said Manuel Litchman, MD, president and CEO of Mustang, in the press release.

Source: Mustang Bio