Today scientists are focused on the advancement of oncolytic viruses because they have shown promising results in pre-clinical studies with very good safety profiles in several clinical trials to treat cancer. However, the delivery systems that have been developed to carry the oncolytic virus to cancer sites is often rendered ineffective because the delivery system is deemed foreign and attacked by a person’s immune system.
Calidi Biotherapeutics has developed a ground-breaking cell-based technology to overcome the immune system response which drastically improves the therapeutic efficacy of oncolytic virus-based treatments.
The Calidi Biotherapeutics platform leverages autologous or allogeneic cells, combined with a proprietary oncolytic virus payload, which prevents the viral elimination by patient’s immune system, and facilitates initial viral amplification and expansion at the tumor sites. This process is accompanied by immunogenic cell death of cancer cells leading to efficient induction of potent anti-tumor immune responses.
Therefore, the combined effect of efficient cell-based delivery, direct cancer cell killing by the oncolytic viruses and induction of anti-tumor immunity is responsible for the potent anti-tumor efficacy of this approach not only at the injected tumor site but also at distant metastatic tumor sites.
Our new methodology using activated stem cells as delivery vehicles of oncolytic viruses can be used in both autologous and allogeneic settings. Our cell-based delivery vehicles have intrinsic immunomodulatory properties that inhibit specifically and transiently the patient’s antiviral immune responses at the tumor site. This approach eliminates or reduces significantly patient-specific rejection, making our treatment universal. Calidi Biotherapeutics has also developed a method validating the use of our cells in both autologous and allogeneic settings. Compatibility was verified by analyzing the ability of our cells to amplify and deliver the oncolytic virus in the presence of a patient’s immune system components.
Calidi’s stem cell-based delivery platform can overcome serum-induced inactivation of oncolytic Vaccinia Virus (VV), thus dramatically enhancing the treatment efficacy.