AmunBio, Inc. and NorthShore University HealthSystem's Research Institute have entered into an exclusive license agreement that allows AmunBio to use a novel platform technology for the development of engineered immunotherapeutic oncolytic viruses for the treatment of hard-to-treat solid tumors. The agreement also includes a research collaboration for the development and commercialization of novel immunotherapeutics.
SEATTLE and EVANSTON, Ill., April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- AmunBio Inc. an early, pre-clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing novel engineered immunotherapeutic oncolytic viruses for the treatment of hard-to-treat solid tumors, and NorthShore University HealthSystem's (NorthShore) Research Institute, have entered into a research collaboration for the development and the commercialization of an innovative technology platform of novel immunotherapeutics. AmunBio has an exclusive option to license this technology. The development of oncolytic viral therapies, which represents a unique therapeutic paradigm within Immuno-Oncology, is gaining momentum. The proprietary platform technology has the potential to generate a strong pipeline of patient-centric next-generation immunotherapeutic oncolytic viruses.
The Research Institute has granted an exclusive option to AmunBio covering intellectual property and technology related to an immunotherapeutic oncolytic virus platform. This technology forms the core of AmunBio's proprietary, multimodal therapeutic approach utilizing direct destruction of cancer cells and immune system activation. The technology is based on more than 20 years of research by Prem Seth, Ph.D., Director, Gene Therapy Program at NorthShore, and AmunBio's founder and Chief Scientific Officer, and his associates.
The agreement includes the development of AMUN-003 (*), an adenovirus-based immunotherapeutic Immuno-Oncology agent, which is being developed for the treatment of multiple solid tumors, including (triple-negative) breast cancer and melanoma, and the ongoing development of additional immunotherapeutic oncolytic viruses.
AmunBio's AMUN-003 blocks suppression of the immune response inside the tumor stimulates the recruitment of cancer-killing immune cells and avoids non-specific inflammation. AMUN-003 can be administered both locally as well as systemically.
Preclinical studies with AMUN-003 in breast cancer alone, compared to prior oncolytic virus constructs, demonstrated near-complete breast cancer inhibition.  "Based on preclinical studies, we believe that AMUN-003 may lead to long-term protection from cancer recurrence," Seth said.
"We believe that in the treatment of cancer, there are still not enough new options," noted Cecilia Zapata-Harms, MS, MHA, AmunBio Chief Operations Officer.
"While last year, in 2020, the world focused on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, more than 9 million people worldwide lost their fight against cancer. (**)  Among them were more than 600,000 Americans. Our novel viral immunotherapeutic approach may result in significantly more efficacious treatment options, promising to dramatically improve the outcome for many patients diagnosed with cancer," she observed.
"We are delighted to be partnering with NorthShore and to be part of ongoing research initiatives to improve the lives of patients," said Zapata-Harms, commenting on research collaboration with the Research Institute.
"We're humbled by the fact that the same institution, where in the early 1920s George Frederick Dick, MD, and Gladys Henry Dick, MD pioneered the development of a toxin for the prevention of scarlet fever, stands behind our work in developing engineered oncolytic virus for Immuno-Oncology. It's also the same institution where the American pediatrician Louis Wendlin Sauer, MD, in the 1930s, perfected a vaccine used to prevent pertussis (whooping cough), and, more recently, scientists have developed novel treatment options for diseases like MRSA, reducing infection rates through the study of preventative screenings and diagnostic testing," said Andrei R. Shustov, MD, an AmunBio Scientific Advisory Board Member.
"Oncolytic viruses represent a unique therapeutic approach within Immuno-Oncology and AmunBio platform technology is expected to result in a fundamental shift, augmenting novel treatment modalities compared to, what we believe, is possible today, said," Stephen R. Wachtel, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President, Research Operations at NorthShore.
"With the collaboration between the Research Institute and AmunBio we're able to address many of the challenges that have prevented previous endeavors from delivering on the full potential of immunotherapeutic oncolytic viruses within Immuno-Oncology, allowing us to discover and develop novel drug candidates for some of the most challenging cancers," Wachtel concluded.
AmunBio is an early-stage biotechnology company developing and commercializing novel, cutting-edge, next-generation engineered immunotherapeutic oncolytic viruses for the treatment of cancer. With the novel, next-generation, proprietary technology platform approach, utilizing direct destruction of cancer cells and immune system activation, patients will be uniquely positioned to defeat cancer. For more information, go to https://amunbio.com/ and follow @AmunbioI
About NorthShore Research Institute
The Research Institute serves as the research arm of NorthShore, supporting the organization's core mission "to preserve and improve human life" through academic excellence and innovative research. Our research enterprise encompasses a wide range of research activities, from lab-based translational research and advanced imaging to clinical trials. NorthShore supports research for all clinical departments by providing the infrastructure and resources for research, which include both administrative and regulatory oversight of investigative studies. For more information visit our website.
(*) AMUN-003 is an investigational, Immuno-Oncologic adenovirus being developed for the treatment of multiple solid tumors, including aggressive, metastasized (triple-negative) breast cancer, melanoma, and other solid tumors. Following a planned Investigational New Drug (IND) application, which is expected in late 2021/early 2022, AmunBio is planning multiple Phase 1 clinical trials of AMUN-003 alone or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
(**) Worldwide, an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases (18.1 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million cancer deaths (9.9 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) occurred in 2020.
 Data on file AmunBio
 Sung H, Ferlay J, Siegel RL, Laversanne M, Soerjomataram I, Jemal A, Bray F. Global cancer statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2021 Feb 4. doi: 10.3322/caac.21660. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33538338.
 Dick GF, Dick GH. Scarlet Fever. Edinb Med J. 1934 Jan;41(1):1-13. PMID: 29645766; PMCID: PMC5314226.
 Pittman M. History of the development of pertussis vaccine. Dev Biol Stand. 1991;73:13-29. PMID: 1778306.
Peter Hofland, Ph.D., AmunBio, Inc, (480) 626 7218, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE AmunBio, Inc