Therapy for EBV-associated Lymphomas

A virus-targeted therapy for
Epstein Barr virus associated lymphomas  

Phoenicia is working to bring an innovative therapeutic approach for deadly EBV-associated lymphomas into clinical trials with a new generation and oral virus-targeted therapeutic.

Epstein Barr virusPhoenicia Founder Douglas V. Faller developed a method to activate silent genes within the dormant EBV virus, which resides in lymphoma cells.

The EBV virus, whether a “passenger” or the cancer-causing agent, can then serve as a target for therapeutics. Activating the viral TK gene causes activation of a common antiviral pro-drug, selectiving killing the lymphoma cells containing the virus.  Phoenicia Founders tested an IV drug in combination with an antiviral agent in collaboration with expert oncologists in the US, France, and Italy. Two-thirds of the patients responded rapidly, with some complete remissions of many years’ duration observed. Dr. Faller has since identified select orally-active inducers of the viral TK with higher potency than the original IV drug and have undergone clinical testing for other conditions. Phoenicia Founders are working to bring a new-generation oral therapeutic agent into clinical trials.

This innovative approach has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health; the Food and Drug Administration Office of Orphan Products; the V-Foundation; the Leukemia Lymphoma Society; and by HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals.