Seneca’s lead asset is SVV, an oncolytic virus of the genus Seneca in the picornavirus family that is characterized by its ability to replicate selectively in certain human tumor cells (SVV-permissive cells). The spectrum of activity is highest in tumor types demonstrating neuroendocrine features. SVV is non-pathogenic in humans and animals. The genus itself was discovered in 2001 at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Neotropix, Inc. SVV has been extensively tested in over 30 non-clinical cancer models, including immunotherapeutic settings, and in three clinical trials for various solid cancer indications, confirming safety and suggesting clinical benefit in humans.
Combining these data and the inherent properties of this viral agent, the product/platform can be utilized as an intravenously administered oncolytic virus to treat SVV-permissive cancers. SVV has high specificity for SVV-permissive cancers with neuroendocrine (NE) features such as SCLC, Large-cell NE-NSCLC, Carcinoid, Glioblastoma, and many pediatric cancers. SVV destroys tumors through tumor cell lysis, release of tumor antigens and stimulation of an anti-tumor immune response. SVV has well-documented tolerability and benign safety profile in Phase I and II trials in both adults (89) and children (21) with numerous indicators of clinical effect.
SVV can be modified to make it a more potent immunotherapeutic by engineering tumor antigens and/or immune stimulating genes into SVV. In addition, there is a high probability of synergistic anti-tumor activity when SVV is combined with immune modulators, cytokines and checkpoint inhibitors.