Louisa Chard Dunmall, PhD, the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, VacV Biotherapeutics Ltd.

Transforming Cancer Treatment with Next Generation

VacV Biotherapeutics Ltd is a spin-out company from Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London. Founded by Prof. Yaohe Wang, Prof. Nick Lemoine, Dr Louisa Chard Dunmall and Dr Peng Liu, the company launch last year was the culmination of 20 years of internationally recognised research. VacV Biotherapeutics Ltd offers a novel platform comprising of systemically deliverable oncolytic Vaccinia virus vectors. The VacV000 platform promises to be a highly effective intravenously and intraperionteally deliverable therapeutic for advanced and metastatic tumours. VacV000 products act via tumour cells lysis, potent activation of anti-tumour immune responses and targeted collapse of tumour blood vessels. The VacV000 platform offers a number of advantages over other oncolytic viral backbones currently under clinical or pre-clinical validation, encompassing all the desirable characteristics required for an effective oncolytic virus-based therapeutic, including a high level of safety, potent anti-tumor efficacy, monotherapeutic activity and systemic delivery.

Louisa Chard Dunmall, PhD, the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, VacV Biotherapeutics Ltd.

VacV biotherapeutics is a high tech spin-out company established by Queen Mary University of London in 2019. VacV biotherapeutics is dedicated to developing proprietary oncolytic virotherapies based on our VacV platform for treatments of cancers with significant unmet clinical need.
Oncolytic viral therapy (OVT) utilizes wild-type or genetically modified viruses that selectively replicate in tumour cells and exert their effects through direct call lysis and induction of long-term tumour-specific immune responses. The VacV platform is based on systemically delivered Vaccinia virus modified to enhance safety, improve viral dissemination within and between tumours and enhance its ability to induce robust immune responses in the patient. VacV can target a wide range of tumour types and also targets supportive cells including cancer stem cells and blood vessel endothelial cells. VacV001, our lead candidate is modified to induce robust immune responses in pancreatic cancer patients and impressive pre-clinical efficacy data has resulted in securing of funds to support GMP manufacture and IND approval in preparation for phase I clinical trials for treatment of human pancreatic cancer.
Colorectal cancer is currently the third most common and second most lethal cancer worldwide, with 1,800,000 new cases and 880,000 deaths annually. 25-30% of patients develop liver metastasis and existing therapies for these patients show limited efficacy and high toxicity. We have developed our VacV platform to create VacV002 that addresses the unmet need for an effective, less toxic treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. Like VacV001, VacV002 comprises a number of modifications that induce robust immune responses in patients. We have demonstrated that intravenous delivery of VacV002 as a monotherapy can cure 40% of animals in models of colorectal cancer with liver metastasis. The accessible market for therapies targeting metastatic colorectal cancer is predicted at $2.88 billion by 2025.
To support the 3 year development of VacV002 through GMP manufacture and IND approval for phase I clinical trials, we are seeking to raise £2 million. Additionally, we aim to raise a further £1 million to support the pre-clinical evaluation and GMP manufacture of VacV001 for use in further indications including lung cancer and peritoneally disseminated tumours.

Dr. Louisa Chard Dunmall is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of VacV Biotherapeutics Ltd, a spin-out company set up in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London in 2019. She obtained a PhD in molecular virology in 2005, graduating from the University of Surrey and the Pirbirght Institute, before continuing her research and teaching career at the Barts Cancer Institute. For the past 12 years, Dr. Chard Dunmall has worked closely with co-founder Prof. Yaohe Wang, integrating cancer immunology and virology research to develop the VacV000 technology as a therapeutic platform for systemic treatment of solid tumours. She has published several original research papers in prestigious scientific journals.