Direct costs related to the prevention and treatment of cancer, and the economic value of lives lost and disability caused, cost the world approximately €1.16 trillion in 2010; adding the longer-term costs to patients and their families bring the annual global cost to $2.5 trillion.
There is an urgent need to develop effective and affordable approaches for the treatment of cancer. Traditional methods have mostly relied on chemotherapy, despite the 45% response rate. Oncolytic viruses, whose potential as anti-cancer agents were first theorised in the early twentieth century, promote an immune response against tumour cells.
In order to be thoroughly effective, an oncolytic virus has to be selective enough so as to not attack healthy tissue while addressing the whole tumour. It also has to replicate fast, but not so fast that it starts to recruit the immune system, and be mutation-resistant. Current treatments utilise methods of trial and error in order to identify the right viral strain; failure to provide any clinical benefit to patients forces researchers to start from scratch.
SynVaccine combines two recent revolutions – big data and synthetic biology – to construct highly effective medication to target and eliminate cancerous cells and provide vaccinations. SynVaccine bypasses editing or manipulation of one genome at a time, by designing and manufacturing tailor-made viruses. Over 3 billion years – and counting – of viral evolutionary data is harnessed by the SynVaccine solution. It will play a crucial role in the development of sustainable and effective biological oncolytic viruses and vaccines and promises fast, safe, and effective remedies with vastly minimised expense that will directly affect the industrially produced drugs created to treat cancer in humans and animals.