BioVex CEO upbeat on OncoVex data, hints at a deal

BioVex has dotted the i's and crossed the t's on its Phase II data for OncoVex, adding another complete responder to its tally of advanced melanoma patients who reacted favorably to its OncoVex cancer therapy and raising hopes in a hard-to-treat therapeutic category for a new drug that has the potential to offer a cure.

Top-line results from the Phase II study were initially unveiled with some fanfare at ASCO earlier in the year, and the completed numbers have now been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. OncoVex has stirred considerable interest in the cancer field. It's now in Phase III for melanoma and regulators recently approved another late-stage trial for head and neck cancer.

"The high percentage of durable complete responses in this study suggests that this therapy has the potential to provide long term benefit to responding patients, potentially including cures," said Dr. Neil N. Senzer of The Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, Dallas, TX. "OncoVex GM-CSF offers significant promise in providing a real advance in the treatment of a disease where there are few if any effective treatment options, particularly when coupled with a relatively benign side effect profile."

When last we spoke to the company several months ago, behind-the-scenes partnership talks were underway and a new financing round was being planned. And the Woburn, MA-based biotech's CEO hints some hard news lies just ahead.

"This month it will become clear to all how we will finance the company through BLA approval," says Philip Astley-Sparke, the chief executive of the private developer, a rare two-time winner of the Fierce 15 award. "I have to be cryptic at the moment."

Say no more. We'll keep you posted.

- check out the release for the latest on OncoVex