Theolytics awarded Innovate UK boost to help combat Ovarian Cancer

November 6th, 2020 – Theolytics, an Oxford-based biotech start-up focused on harnessing viruses to fight cancer through Darwinian selection methods, has been awarded a grant by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to optimise their oncolytic virus candidate for treatment of ovarian cancer.

This grant, from Innovate UK’s Smart Fund, will enable Theolytics to begin an 18 month long project co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The project will focus on ‘arming’ their viruses with therapeutic agents for a localised, potent expression at the tumour site.

Arming their viral candidate (TheoAd281) with therapeutic transgenes will enable TheoAd281 to overcome key cancer pathways for immune suppression, inducing an effective and systemic therapeutic response.

Theolytics’ discovery platform combines ultra-diverse viral libraries with patient-centric bioselection systems. This means they can rapidly identify clinic-ready and therapeutically effective oncolytic viruses that can be produced at scale and safely and easily delivered to the target patient population.

Currently, only 35% of women diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer survive for 10 or more years, due to the highly immunosuppressive tumour environment, complex nature of the disease and few recent advances in the therapeutic landscape.

Charlotte Casebourne, CEO of Theolytics, commented:

We are excited to further optimise candidate efficacy with world-leading arming capabilities. Combined with our established discovery platform, and pipeline of best-in-class oncolytic viral vectors, we are in a position to deliver payloads with exceptional precision. 

Margaret Duffy, CSO of Theolytics, commented:

We are grateful to Innovate UK for the opportunity to expand our oncolytic virus Platform capabilities and work effectively to get the best anti-cancer agents to the patients most in need of new therapeutic strategies.