SAN DIEGO, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical‐stage biotherapeutics company at the forefront of oncolytic virus-based immunotherapies for cancer, today announced their ongoing scientific collaboration with David F. Stroncek, M.D., Chief, Cell Therapy Section at the Department of Transfusion Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH) to jointly study the impact of different stem cell carriers on the therapeutic potential of oncolytic viruses in the treatment of cancer.
Calidi Biotherapeutics is currently developing a novel immunotherapy approach utilizing oncolytic vaccinia virus delivered via cell-based therapeutic platforms. Their initial clinical safety trial using autologous cells to deliver the same virus demonstrated safety and signs of efficacy in cancer patients. Calidi Biotherapeutics is now developing a next-generation platform using cultured mesenchymal stem cells to protect and potentiate the virus, a highly scalable off-the-shelf, allogeneic cell-based delivery technology. Calidi has proven that expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) can protect the oncolytic viruses against the human immune system barriers, and enable the generation of a transient immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.
“It has been an honor to work with the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the National Institutes of Health over the last ten months. This joint research is laying the groundwork for our future clinical trials,” said Boris Minev, MD, President, Medical and Scientific Affairs for Calidi Biotherapeutics. “We are driven by one mission; to create an affordable treatment that will eradicate cancer and save lives. As such, we are excited to participate with the NIH in the development of oncolytic virus-based therapies. The ability to protect oncolytic viruses from destruction by the human immune system is very significant when it comes to developing the next generation of oncolytic immunotherapies.”
The focus of Calidi Biotherapeutics’s collaboration with the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH is to examine how the progression of oncolytic virus infection in the carrier stem cells might differentially change their natural immunomodulatory capacity. Importantly, the therapeutic potential of oncolytic viruses delivered by different mesenchymal stem cells is being analyzed and compared. Different MSC types have different features, which could result in distinct functional properties as viral delivery systems In Vivo.
About Calidi Biotherapeutics
Calidi Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with proprietary technology that overcomes the challenges to the effective delivery of oncolytic viruses. Calidi Biotherapeutics is advancing its cell-based oncolytic virus delivery platform in an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the treatment of prostate cancer, based on previous guidance the company has received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Calidi Therapeutics scientific, clinical and regulatory expert advisors. Calidi Biotherapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.calidibio.com.