EMBL Ventures announced that Boehringer Ingelheim has exercised its option to acquire EMBL Ventures' portfolio company ViraTherapeutics in a transaction with a total value of EUR 210 million (USD 245 million). The acquisition follows a collaboration and option agreement signed between ViraTherapeutics and Boehringer Ingelheim in August 2016.
EMBL Ventures has been a strong supporter of ViraTherapeutics' growth and development since having first invested in the Company in 2015 as part of its Series A financing round. EMBL Ventures' interest in ViraTherapeutics focuses on the unique properties of its oncolytic (cancer-destroying) virus-based immunotherapy VSV-GP - a Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) with a modified glycoprotein (GP) - currently in advanced pre-clinical development for the treatment of solid tumours.
VSV-GP is a highly potent oncolytic virus, which leads to an enhanced immune response that works together with the direct viral anti-tumour effect. ViraTherapeutics' lead candidate leverages the VSV-GP platform, a next generation oncolytic viral therapy, which has shown promising results in pre-clinical models, especially in combination with key immune modulatory principles.