FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– Proceeds Will Advance Company’s Next-Generation Platform Using Oncolytic Virus in Brain Tumors and Other Cancers –
Cambridge, MA, December 15, 2016 – Oncorus, Inc., a new immuno-oncology company developing a next-generation immunotherapy platform of oncolytic viruses for the treatment of several tumor types including highly malignant and aggressive cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), today announced that Astellas Venture Management LLC (“AVM”), the corporate venture arm of Astellas Pharma Inc., has provided Series A financing support to the company, increasing its Series A proceeds to $61 million.
AVM joins a team of investors led by MPM Capital (with equal contributions from MPM BV2014 and the Oncology Impact Fund), and included Deerfield Management, Arkin Bio Ventures, Celgene, Inc., Excelyrate Capital, Long March Investment Fund and MPM’s SunStates Fund. Proceeds from the Series A financing round are being used to advance Oncorus’s immunotherapy platform using its next-generation oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV). In July, Oncorus announced that it raised a $57 million Series A financing.
“Oncorus’s next-generation immunotherapy platform of oncolytic viruses could become a new paradigm in cancer treatment. We are excited to partner with this leading group of investors to support this experienced management team and group of world-class researchers in this endeavor,” said Shunichiro Matsumoto, Ph.D., President, AVM.
Industry veteran and Oncorus co-founder Mitchell H. Finer, Ph.D., leads the Oncorus management team as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer and Cyrus D. Mozayeni, M.D., serves as President and Chief Business Officer.
“We are thrilled to have AVM join this outstanding group of high-quality investors. This additional funding will help advance our immunotherapy platform as we discover innovative new therapies which we hope will be of benefit to patients in need and the physicians who treat them,” said Dr. Finer.
Dr. Finer serves on Oncorus’s Board of Directors along with Luke Evnin, Ph.D., MPM Capital co-founder and Chairman of Oncorus’s Board of Directors; Briggs Morrison, CEO, Syndax; Cameron Wheeler, Ph.D., Principal, Deerfield Management; and, Alon Lazarus, Ph.D., Biotech Investment Manager, Arkin Bio Ventures.
Oncorus licensed certain patent rights from the University of Pittsburgh based upon the work of renowned scientists Joseph Glorioso III, Ph.D., and Paola Grandi, Ph.D., who will join Oncorus’s Scientific Advisory Board. The company will invest in researching and developing oncolytic viral constructs which will move through preclinical development and ultimately into clinical trials. Currently, the company’s lead candidate is in preclinical development for GBM. The company will also expand and improve its technology platform and accelerate the development of pipeline programs in other forms of cancer.
Astellas Venture Management LLC., based in Menlo Park, California, is a corporate venture capital of Astellas Pharma Inc. (“API”), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. For over 15 years, AVM has been making strategic investments to achieve its mission to explore emerging innovative companies, which have potential to become API’s collaboration partners in R&D. For more information, please visit the website at www.astellasventure.com.
About Oncorus, Inc.
Oncorus, Inc. is an early-stage biotechnology company developing a next-generation immunotherapy platform of oncolytic viruses to treat several types of cancer, including highly malignant and aggressive cancers. A leader in corporate philanthropy, Oncorus has taken a pledge to donate a portion of product sales revenue to fund promising cancer research and to support cancer care in the developing world. The company is located in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit www.oncorus.com for more information.
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