SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 6, 2012) RSV, a virus that causes respiratory infections in infants and young children, selectively kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone, researchers from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio said.
Santanu Bose, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine, is the inventor on a pending U.S. patent of RSV as an oncolytic therapy. This represents a new use for the virus. Bandana Chatterjee, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, is the co-inventor. Oncolytic viruses preferentially infect and damage cancer cells.
Confirmed in mice
Dr. Bose, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, studied the immune response of normal and cancerous cells to RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). During these studies he discovered RSV's oncolytic properties. Dr. Bose next worked with Dr. Chatterjee, professor of molecular medicine, to test RSV in her mouse model of prostate cancer. Those results again showed a robust anti-cancer effect of RSV.
In July, CZ BioMed Corp. of Tampa, Fla., licensed the oncolytic use of RSV in an agreement with South Texas Technology Management (STTM), a regional University of Texas technology-transfer office managed by the Health Science Center. RSV is already showing effectiveness in human trials abroad, according to a company statement.
Dr. Bose, whose work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, said, "This is an exciting development because this is a homegrown invention that is being tested in humans, and therefore this scientific discovery has direct clinical, translational relevance."
"We are pleased that CZ BioMed has agreed to work with us to commercialize Dr. Bose's and Dr. Chatterjee's exciting discovery to efficiently target and treat different forms of cancer," said STTM Executive Director Arjun Sanga, J.D., assistant
|Contact: Will Sansom|
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio