US-based Oncorus has raised $79.5m (£65.56m) in a Series B financing round co-led by Cowen Healthcare Investments and Perceptive Advisors.
Oncorus, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an oncolytic virus company. It is engaged in advancing a portfolio of locally and systemically administered (IV) OV therapies based on its oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus (oHSV) and Synthetic Virus Platforms.
The company’s Series B round also saw participation from its syndicate of Series A investors that include MPM Capital, UBS Oncology Impact Fund, Celgene, Deerfield Management, Arkin Bioventures, and Astellas Venture Management.
Additional new investors in the oncolytic virus company were Surveyor Capital, Sphera Funds, IMM Investment, SV Investment, QUAD Investment Management, UTC Investment, and Shinhan Investment-Private Equity.
Cowen Healthcare Investments managing partner Kevin Raidy said: “The oncolytic virus space continues to gain momentum, as signaled by continued investment from both financial and strategic parties. Oncorus is poised to become a leader in this emerging modality.
“There are significant distinctions among the various oncolytic virus platforms; we believe Oncorus is a standout in this class. We look forward to seeing Oncorus’ proprietary innovations translate in the clinical setting with the promise of dramatically improving clinical outcomes for cancer patients.”
Oncorus intends to use the proceeds from the Series B funding round to advance ONCR-177, its lead candidate into clinical development in early 2020.
ONCR-177, which is intended to be intratumorally administered, is an oncolytic virus clinical candidate that is being developed for the treatment of various solid tumour indications.
According to Oncorus, the drug candidate has been developed on the oHSV platform, which is said to facilitate the development of oncolytic viruses with high payload capacity for potent activation of various arms of the immune system.
Oncorus president and CEO Theodore Ashburn said: “Oncolytic virus therapies have the potential to transform outcomes for cancer patients.
“We intend to use the proceeds from this oversubscribed financing to support our advancement of novel, proprietary intratumoral and intravenous approaches with the goal of addressing severe unmet medical needs in oncology.”