Encouraging early results have come from clinical safety trials of the genetically engineered herpes virus, NV1020, developed as a treatment for colorectal carcinoma, developers have reported.
Five patients have had intrahepatic administration of the drug - and no serious adverse events have been reported - according to developers MediGene AG, of Martinsried, Germany.
All the patients had been diagnosed with colorectal carcinoma with metastatic spread to the liver, and are being treated at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Three of the patients will now take part in a long-term study of the safety of the drug.
NV1020 is a modified herpes simplex Type 1 virus genetically engineered to spread in cancer cells and to spare normal cells. Anti-herpes drugs such as Acyclovir can control it.
Dr Peter Heinrich, Chief Executive Officer of MediGene AG, said, "We are very excited about the progress of this study for NV1020.
"So far no evidence of toxicity related to NV1020 has been found, and we will continue to enroll additional patients."