• Enhanced systemic delivery system using novel Vaccinia virus technology targets a range of cancers
  • Builds on more than 20 years of pioneering research at Barts Cancer Institute, one of the top cancer research centers in the UK
  • Strong pre-clinical validation with a lead asset poised to enter clinical development


London, UK, 26 October 2022 – VacV Biotherapeutics (“VacV” or “the Company”), a cancer immunotherapy company developing innovative viral-based therapies, emerged from stealth mode today to advance its promising pipeline of pre-clinical assets with best-in-class potential, towards the clinic.

VacV has spun out of Barts Cancer Institute and Queen Mary University of London following 20 years of pioneering research by immunotherapy experts Professor Yaohe Wang, Professor Nicholas Lemoine, and their team of internationally renowned cell and gene therapy researchers. The Company has already attracted a $3 million investment from Proxima Ventures, which it has used to complete preclinical studies and build the team.

Immunotherapies, which enable a patient’s immune system to recognize and target cancer cells, have made a significant difference to cancer patients over the last decade. However, many patients fail to respond. Oncolytic viruses can directly kill cancer cells, alter the tumor microenvironment and sensitize more patients to immunotherapy.

Glyn Edwards, Executive Chairman of VacV Biotherapeutics, commented: “VacV’s platform addresses many of the historic challenges faced by oncolytic viruses and builds on more than 20 years of research experience of its founders. We use a carefully engineered virus to destroy the tumor and activate anti-cancer immunity at the same time. As a pioneer in this space, VacV has generated viruses with optimal payloads and backbones to create a systemically deliverable, targeted, viral-based cancer immunotherapy.

Prof Yaohe Wang, Chief Scientific Officer of VacV Biotherapeutics, commented: “Our approach focuses on stimulating the patient’s immune system to fight cancer through the delivery of immune-modulating payloads as well as the virus’ oncolytic activity. This expertly designed Vaccinia virus-based therapy allows for easy, intravenous administration whilst overcoming challenges of existing approaches, such as cancer vaccines, immuno-check point blockade and CAR-T/TCR-T cells. We are excited to be developing this therapy for patients in an effort to improve outcomes and prevent the recurrence of the disease.”

Using its technology platform, VacV has developed a promising pipeline of therapeutic candidates and is initially focusing on a range of refractory solid tumors including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, glioblastoma and metastatic colorectal cancer amongst others.

VacV’s work has been supported by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGTC).


For more information please contact:

VacV Biotherapeutics (UK) Ltd

Glyn Edwards, Executive Chairman


Consilium Strategic Communications

Mary-Jane Elliott / Ashley Tapp / Stella Lempidaki


Tel: +44 (0) 20 3709 5700

About VacV Biotherapeutics

VacV Biotherapeutics is a cancer immunotherapy company developing innovative viral-based therapies for cancers. Launched in 2022 by cancer immunotherapy pioneers Professor Yaohe Wang, Professor Nicholas Lemoine, Dr. Louisa Chard Dunmall and Dr. Peng Liu, VacV employs a unique approach to immunotherapy based on the Vaccinia virus to stimulate a patient’s immune system to fight cancer while simultaneously destroying cancer cells. This approach offers many advantages over existing immunotherapies, including minimized toxicity, higher specificity and efficacy, allowing for efficient systemic delivery of an immunotherapy for the first time.

Find out more online at: http://vacvbtx.com/

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About Queen Mary Innovation Ltd

Queen Mary Innovation Ltd (QMI) is Queen Mary University of London’s wholly-owned technology transfer company and is responsible for the commercialization and management of the university’s intellectual property and a portfolio of spinout companies. These include Keratify, a patented technology designed by skin scientists to improve current skin testing practices; Nemisindo, a technology created by Queen Mary’s Entrepreneur in Residence Professor Josh Reiss, which generates sounds using physics models, for use instead of samples; Dragonfly, an automatic saliency detection company (with revenues growing rapidly at more than £1m per annum); and hViVo, the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge study models, which developed the world’s first COVID-19 challenge study model.

Find out more online at: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/