Using your immune system to overcome cancer
Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX: ONC, NASDAQ: ONCY) is developing Pelareorep, a safe and well-tolerated intravenously delivered immuno-oncolytic virus (IOV) that kills cancer through a unique mechanism of action with two components, selective tumour lysis and activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems. This creates an inflamed phenotype to treat a variety of solid tumours and haematological malignancies.
Hannah Bernard: Hi, I’m Hannah Bernard. You’re watching Market One Minute and today we have Matt Coffey, CEO & President of Oncolytics Biotech. Thanks for being with us, Matt.
Matt Coffey: Thanks for having me.
Hannah Bernard: So, let’s start off by you telling us why large Pharma is interested in Oncolytics.
Matt Coffey: People develop cancer because their immune system can’t see these tumours. Our product, Pelareorep, allows the immune system to visualize or see the tumor for the first time. And this is important because we demonstrated and presented that the product actually was able to double overall survival in women with hormone receptor HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer, which is a tremendous improvement for these patients.
Matt Coffey: And it does this by basically, promoting an inflamed phenotype. We know that this type of immune response can synergize, what the agents call, checkpoint blockade, which is anticipated to be a $25 billion franchise despite the fact it only works in one in five patients. We believe we can add to this activity. And we’ve recently identified a biomarker which allows us to predict which women are likely to respond to treatment and confirm that response as quickly as three weeks.
Hannah Bernard: Wow. And, in addition to these results, these impressive results, what gives you confidence in this program?
Matt Coffey: The program we’re looking at largely confirms the already successful study. So, what we wanted to do was re-create that in a refined patient population, but it also adds an arm looking at adding a checkpoint inhibitor to this, which we believe will enhance the activity based on what we’ve seen pre-clinically.
Hannah Bernard: And how will this study benefit Oncolytics’ clinical program?
Matt Coffey: This does a number of things for Oncolytics. One, it confirms the activity that we saw in the already successful study. It also will allow us to confirm or validate the biomarker, which allows us to move more confidently into a phase III program, which would be significantly smaller and with a much higher likelihood of success.
Hannah Bernard: So, you’ve had all this success so far, but what is the ultimate goal for Oncolytics?
Matt Coffey: Our goal is to get this product through a registration study, so we can make it available to as many patients as we can as quickly as we can.
Hannah Bernard: Thank you so much for sharing all of that with us, Matt.
Matt Coffey: Thank you for having me.