(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Viralytics Limited (ASX: VLA) has received a A1.5 million research and development tax concession from the Australian Taxation Office, greater than the originally estimated 871,000.
The funds will go towards to the company's oncolytic virus programs including the Phase 2 melanoma study in the U.S. and other potential indications such as bladder cancer.
Importantly, Viralytics is well funded with 4.5 million in cash reserves at the end of the September 2012 quarter, with the new funds to build on this.
The company's lead product is CAVATAK, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase II melanoma trial in the U.S.
The Phase II extension study is being conducted to continue CAVATAK treatment for patients who display a clinical benefit, as well as enable Viralytics to continue studying the effectiveness of the CAVATAK treatment over a further six month period.
Direct injection of CAVATAK into tumors may kill cancer cells by the lytic action of the virus.
This action also releases tumor cell debris that may illicit a response by the patient's own immune system against the tumour.
Viralytics is the only Australian company developing oncolytic virotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
Demonstrating the potential and the interest in the technology, a number of North American biotechs developing similar technologies have been the subject of takeovers by larger companies.
One example is the US1 billion acquisition of Biovex by Amgen.
As Viralytics progresses the development of its CAVATAK treatment, it could potentially attract increased foreign interest.