Oslo, Norway, 23 May 2019 – Targovax ASA (OSE: TRVX), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing immune activators to target hard-to-treat solid tumors, today announces that going forward the company will strengthen the commitment to oncolytic viruses and focus resources to advance the ONCOS program with full force.
With the reporting of encouraging median overall survival and three-year survival rate, the TG01 trial in resected pancreatic cancer has been successfully completed (see press release here). The natural next step in this indication is to continue with a larger randomized clinical trial within the current standard of care setting. The Company has decided to not pursue this opportunity on a stand-alone basis and will instead allocate all resources on the ONCOS oncolytic virus program.
Oncolytic viruses are increasingly recognized as an important future class of immune activators, and Targovax is well positioned as one of the leaders in this rapidly evolving field. Maintaining that position will require speed and agility. Therefore, the decision has been made to focus the company’s resources on advancing the ONCOS program with full force and to deliver the important ONCOS-102 data read-outs in the mesothelioma, melanoma and peritoneal trials over the next 6-18 months, as well as advancing the pre-clinical development of the next generation of double-transgene ONCOS viruses.
Although Targovax will not utilize future resources on the TG program in its current form, we continue to believe in RAS as an important immunotherapeutic target. Management will seek and implement strategic alternatives for TG and assess opportunities for how our expertise and IP can be utilized to develop novel mutant RAS targeting strategies that can complement the oncolytic virus approach.
Øystein Soug, CEO of Targovax, said: “We are proud to have brought both the TG and ONCOS programs to an advanced development stage. We have a leading role in oncolytic viruses and to maintain our position we wish to prioritize our resources. As a consequence, we will seek alternative ways to progress and capture value from TG. I firmly believe that the Company will be strengthened by a sharpened focus on ONCOS, and that this move significantly increases our chance of success.”
For further information, please contact:
Renate Birkeli, Investor Relations
Phone: +47 922 61 624
Media and IR enquires:
Andreas Tinglum – Corporate Communications (Norway)
Phone: +47 9300 1773
Activating the patient’s immune system to fight cancer
Targovax (OSE:TRVX) is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing oncolytic viruses to target hard-to-treat solid tumors. Immuno-oncology is currently one of the fastest growing therapeutic fields in medicine.
Targovax’s lead product candidate, ONCOS-102, is a genetically modified oncolytic adenovirus, which has been engineered to selectively infect and replicate in cancer cells. It activates the immune system to generate tumor-specific immune responses. In a phase I monotherapy trial, ONCOS-102 induced both local and systemic innate and adaptive immune activation, with associated clinical benefit. In an ongoing phase I trial, patients who have progressed on anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitors and treated with ONCOS-102 in combination with Keytruda, demonstrated responses in three of nine patients (33% ORR) including one complete response. ONCOS-102’s lead indication is mesothelioma, where the virus is currently being tested in a randomized phase I/II trial expected to report around new year 2019-20.