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About Us

Developing Innovative Treatment Platforms

Istari Oncology, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing innovative immuno-oncology platforms for the treatment of solid tumors, including glioblastoma and melanoma. The company was founded as a result of the research contributions of Darell Bigner, MD, PhD and Matthias Gromeier, MD at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Both are leaders in their respective research fields of virology, immunology, monoclonal development, and clinical medicine, particularly in the treatment of brain tumors. Since then, Istari Oncology’s mission has motivated the company to develop world-class therapeutics backed by the strength of an experienced leadership team.

The research and clinical development of our immunotherapy technology platforms originated from The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center (PRTBTC) at Duke University Medical Center. In 2016, Duke University licensed a broad range of patents and patent applications to Istari Oncology and provided access to additional intellectual property created at Duke to continue clinical and commercial development of these technologies. Istari continues work with Duke University and other world-renowned academic cancer centers in the research and development of PVSRIPO, a viral immunotherapy based on a patented recombinant poliovirus.

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An Exciting History. A Promising Future.

In 2012, a Phase 1 study of PVSRIPO was initiated among patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (rGBM). Following the completion of that study, Istari launched a multicenter Phase 2 study which is now fully enrolled (N=120) and the multicenter LUMINOS-101 Phase 2 study of PVSRIPO in combination with pembrolizumab in rGBM which is now in startup. In addition to rGBM, studies of PVSRIPO alone and in combination with anti-PD-1/L1s in advanced, unresectable melanoma are continuing to progress, with the LUMINOS-102 Phase 2 trial receiving IND clearance in 2020. Lastly, a Phase 1 “basket trial” in a variety of solid tumors is in the planning stages.

In addition to its core technology asset of PVSRIPO, Istari continues to develop other technologies such as a series of Antibody Toxin Conjugates (ATCs), which are select, highly specific monoclonal antibodies that carry a toxin lethal to cancer cells and have the potential to treat larger rGBMs and a range of other solid tumor targets.

To learn more about Istari Oncology’s technology, visit Our Science.

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