VBL Therapeutics Announces Publication of Research on a Potential Novel Immuno-Oncology Target

TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VBL Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VBLT), announced today the publication of a paper discussing MOSPD2, a potential novel immuno-oncology target. The paper, entitled, "Identification of Motile Sperm Domain–Containing Protein 2 as Regulator of Human Monocyte Migration" by Mendel et al., is published online in The Journal of Immunology. VBL's manuscript reveals that MOSPD2, a protein with a previously unknown function, regulates cell migration in human monocytes. While this first manuscript focuses on the importance of MOSPD2 in immune cells, research conducted by VBL has explored the relevance of MOSPD2 in motility and metastasis of tumor cells. These oncology-related data will be presented at the forthcoming American Association of Cancer research (AACR) conference in Washington, DC, April 1-5, 2017.

This novel platform technology enriches VBL's capabilities, which include the Vascular Targeting System (VTS™) gene-therapy-based platform technology lead by the Phase 3 drug candidate VB-111 (ofranergene obadenovec) and the Lecinoxoids family of small molecules which have potential applications in cardiovascular, NASH and fibrotic diseases.

"We have been working on this project in house for several years, ever since we learned that some of our Lecinoxoid molecules inhibit monocyte migration,” said Eyal Breitbart, PhD, VP for Research at VBL. "Our experiments led to identification of MOSPD2 as a regulator of cell motility in monocytes and neutrophils, but moreover, they imply that MOSPD2 might be playing a similar role in certain tumor cells."

The company believes that targeting of MOSPD2 may have several therapeutic applications, including inhibition of monocyte migration in chronic inflammatory conditions, inhibition of tumor cell metastases and targeting of MOSPD2+ tumor cells. VBL's "VB-600 series" of pipeline candidates is being developed towards these applications. The company expects to report additional findings related to MOSPD2 in Q2 2017.

For open access to the manuscript please see: http://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2017/01/27/jimmunol.1601662

About VBL
Vascular Biogenics Ltd., operating as VBL Therapeutics, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class treatments for cancer. The Company’s lead oncology product candidate, ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), is a first-in-class, targeted anti-cancer gene-therapy agent that is positioned to treat a wide range of solid tumors. It is conveniently administered as an IV infusion once every two months. It has been observed to be well-tolerated in >200 cancer patients and we have observed its efficacy signals in an “all comers” Phase 1 trial as well as in three tumor-specific Phase 2 studies. Ofranergene obadenovec is currently being studied in a Phase 3 pivotal trial for recurrent Glioblastoma, conducted under an FDA Special Protocol Assessment (SPA).

About Ofranergene Obadenovec (VB-111)
Ofranergene obadenovec is a unique biologic agent that uses a dual mechanism to target solid tumors. Based on a non-integrating, non-replicating, Adeno 5 vector, ofranergene obadenovec utilizes VBL's proprietary Vascular Targeting System (VTS™) to target the tumor vasculature for cancer therapy. Unlike anti-VEGF or TKIs, ofranergene obadenovec does not aim to block a specific pro-angiogenic pathway; instead, it uses an angiogenesis-specific sensor (VBL's PPE-1-3x proprietary promoter) to specifically induce cell death in angiogenic endothelial cells in the tumor milieu. This mechanism retains activity regardless of baseline tumor mutations or the identity of the pro-angiogenic factors secreted by the tumor and shows efficacy even after failure of prior treatment with other anti-angiogenics. Moreover, ofranergene obadenovec induces specific anti-tumor immune response, which is accompanied by recruitment of CD8 T-cells and apoptosis of tumor cells.

Ofranergene obadenovec completed a Phase 2 study in rGBM, which showed a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in patients treated with ofranergene obadenovec through progression, compared to either patients treated with ofranergene obadenovec followed by bevacizumab alone, or to historical bevacizumab data. In a Phase 2 trial for recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, ofranergene obadenovec demonstrated a statistically significant increase in overall survival and 60% durable response rate (as measured by reduction in CA-125), approximately 2x the historical response with bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in ovarian cancer.  In a Phase 2 study in recurrent, iodine-resistant differentiated thyroid cancer, ofranergene obadenovec met the primary endpoint and provided evidence of disease stabilization and a positive safety profile. Ofranergene obadenovec has received Fast Track Designation for recurrent glioblastoma in the U.S. and orphan drug status for glioblastoma in both the U.S. and EU.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “look forward to”, “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the clinical development of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111) and its therapeutic potential and clinical results, as well as the potential relevance of MOSPD2 in immune cells and in motility and metastasis of tumor cells. These forward-looking statements are not promises or guarantees and involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described or projected herein include uncertainties associated generally with scientific research and development, clinical trials and related regulatory reviews and approvals, and the risk that historical clinical trial results may not be predictive of future trial results. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other risks can be found in the Company’s regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in our annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2015. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. VBL Therapeutics undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.

Michael Rice
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
(646) 597-6979