We believe that artificial viruses are the next generation of therapeutics. They can be used to treat cancer, genetic diseases, multiple drug resistant bacteria, and they can also be used as vaccines. That is why we are developing a platform to make artificial viruses. We are targeting cancer first.
We view cancer as an infection, not with a microbe or virus, but with our body’s own cells. Cancer, regardless of type, results from corruption of the cell’s genetic code, or genome. The damaged DNA can cause the cells to grow quickly and spread through our body. We can treat a bacterial infection with penicillin or other antibiotics because they kill microbes without greatly affecting our cells. But cancer cells, broken as they may be, are still very similar to our normal cells. Moreover, derived from us, each cancer is unique to us, so nonspecific treatments like chemotherapy don’t work as well.
Using our platform, we design and manufacture viruses that precisely infect and kill only the cancer cells that we want to eliminate. It’s like giving cancer cells, and only cancer cells, the flu. Built from scratch, we literally have complete control over the construction and function of each virus particle.
We are starting with dogs. Why? Because, unlike mice, dogs are part of our families. We want them to receive the best, most humane care available. They get the same cancers that we do. And, their treatment options lag far behind the state-of-the-art in human care. This makes them the ideal patients for our novel drug development approach. Positive results from canine clinical trials will support the future use of this approach for people.