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JX-594 is an oncolytic virus (also known as Pexa-Vec[1]) developed by Jennerex and partners: Transgene S.A.; Lee's Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd.; and Green Cross Corp. Pexa-Vec is designed to target and destroy cancer cells.[2]

JX-594 is a vaccinia poxvirus engineered by addition of the GM-CSF gene and deletion of the thymidine kinase gene which limits viral replication to cells with high levels of thymidine kinase, typically seen in cancer cells with a mutated RAS or p53 gene.[3] The virus kills them by lysis and also expresses GM-CSF which may help initiate an anti-tumour immune response.[4][5] [6]

It has orphan drug designation from US FDA and EUMA for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).[1]

Clinical trials[edit]

Two Phase I trials have reported results and a phase II trial for primary liver cancer, alone and in combination with sorafenib is starting.[5]

JX-594[7] Phase I results in 23 patients had encouraging results in 6 of 8 high dosed patients.[8]

Early results, in Nov 2011, from a small (30 patient) phase II trial in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) showed an increased median overall survival of 13.8 months compared 6.7 months for a lower dose (p=0.029).[9]


External links[edit]