CAN-3110 is a replication-competent herpes simplex virus (HSV) engineered to enhance selective killing of cancer cells while sparing healthy neighboring cells. Selective replication has been obtained by placing ICP34.5, the gene controlling HSV replication, under the control of the Nestin promoter. Nestin has been shown to be highly expressed in high-grade glioma cells, but is absent in healthy adult brain cells, which may explain why dose-limiting toxicity was not observed in a study of a single injection of CAN-3110 into the brain tumor in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma. Nestin expression has also been detected in aggressive tumors other than high-grade glioma, which broadens the possibility of expanding the use of CAN-3110 into other indications, also outside the brain, and creating a future pipeline-in-a-product. The ICP34.5 gene is typically deleted in other oncolytic viruses, which may result in poor replication ability and a limited ability to generate an effective anti-tumor immune response.
Currently, the effects of multiple doses of CAN-3110 are being evaluated in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma in an ongoing investigator-sponsored phase 1 clinical trial.
For more information on this clinical study, please visit our Clinical Trials page.