Pipeline

Viracta’s lead product development programs target use of our investigational drug, tractinostat, for Epstein Barr Virus-associated cancers for which clinical trials have been initiated. We will also apply our platform for a range of virus-associated cancers and other serious diseases.

EBV-Associated Malignancies

Epstein Barr Virus was the first virus to be directly implicated in human cancer by Denis Parsons Burkitt, who first described a cancer of the lymphatic system in the 1960s that is now known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. Its role in cancers is now understood to be much broader. EBV is a herpesvirus family member that causes mononucleosis. In most of the 95 percent of adults who carry the virus, it persists asymptomatically. In certain cases, such as in immuno-suppression or other co-factors, EBV can drive formation of cancers. It is estimated that there are 200,000 new cases and over 140,000 deaths each year due to EBV-associated cancers.

EBV in Lymphomas

Burkitt’s lymphoma remains a leading cause of cancer death among children in Africa. In addition to Burkitt’s lymphoma, EBV is now known to play roles in a subset of patients with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including patients with aggressive forms of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). It is involved in about one-third of Hodgkin’s Disease cases. EBV is found in nearly all cases of aggressive NK/T cell lymphoma. Among immuno-suppressed patients, such as solid organ or hematopoietic cell transplant patient receiving immuno-suppressive therapy, nearly all cases of post-transplant lymphoma or post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) are associated with EBV. Most patients with HIV- or AIDS-associated lymphomas are also EBV positive.

Viracta has initiated a clinical trial (link to new EBV Lymphoma Clinical Trial page with Contact: clinicaltrials@viracta.com) to treat EBV+ lymphomas.

Viracta has initiated a clinical trial to treat EBV+ lymphomas. For more information about the trial, see ClinicalTrials.gov.
Contact: clinicaltrials@viracta.com

EBV in Solid Tumor Cancers

Among solid tumor cancers associated with EBV, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an aggressive head and neck cancer that, while relatively uncommon in the US, is common in certain regions of Asia, particularly in areas of Southern China. It is a leading cause of cancer death among men in Taiwan. Gastric carcinoma (GC) is a major healthcare concern especially in many parts of Asia and is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the world. EBV-associated GC or EBVaGC includes a sub-type of lymphoepithelial-like GC. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer worldwide. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in particular is a form that tests negative for hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). Since the tumor cells lack the necessary receptors, the common treatments of hormone therapy and drugs that target ER, PR and HER-2 are ineffective in the treatment of TNBC. EBV is found in a significant portion of breast cancers, particularly TNBC and is associated with the difficulty to treat this disease. EBV is associated with smooth muscle tumors or leiomyosarcomas (EBV LMS) that occur more frequently in immuno-suppressed patients. EBV LMS are rare and difficult to treat.

Viracta plans to initiate clinical trials in EBV+ solid tumors.

Pipeline

Viracta’s lead product development programs target use of our investigational drug, tractinostat, for Epstein Barr Virus-associated cancers for which clinical trials have been initiated. We will also apply our platform for a range of virus-associated cancers and other serious diseases.

EBV-Associated Malignancies

Epstein Barr Virus was the first virus to be directly implicated in human cancer by Denis Parsons Burkitt, who first described a cancer of the lymphatic system in the 1960s that is now known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. Its role in cancers is now understood to be much broader. EBV is a herpesvirus family member that causes mononucleosis. In most of the 95 percent of adults who carry the virus, it persists asymptomatically. In certain cases, such as in immuno-suppression or other co-factors, EBV can drive formation of cancers. It is estimated that there are 200,000 new cases and over 140,000 deaths each year due to EBV-associated cancers.

EBV in Lymphomas

Burkitt’s lymphoma remains a leading cause of cancer death among children in Africa. In addition to Burkitt’s lymphoma, EBV is now known to play roles in a subset of patients with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including patients with aggressive forms of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). It is involved in about one-third of Hodgkin’s Disease cases. EBV is found in nearly all cases of aggressive NK/T cell lymphoma. Among immuno-suppressed patients, such as solid organ or hematopoietic cell transplant patient receiving immuno-suppressive therapy, nearly all cases of post-transplant lymphoma or post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) are associated with EBV. Most patients with HIV- or AIDS-associated lymphomas are also EBV positive.

Viracta has initiated a clinical trial (link to new EBV Lymphoma Clinical Trial page with Contact: clinicaltrials@viracta.com) to treat EBV+ lymphomas.

Viracta has initiated a clinical trial to treat EBV+ lymphomas. For more information about the trial, see ClinicalTrials.gov.
Contact: clinicaltrials@viracta.com

EBV in Solid Tumor Cancers

Among solid tumor cancers associated with EBV, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an aggressive head and neck cancer that, while relatively uncommon in the US, is common in certain regions of Asia, particularly in areas of Southern China. It is a leading cause of cancer death among men in Taiwan. Gastric carcinoma (GC) is a major healthcare concern especially in many parts of Asia and is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the world. EBV-associated GC or EBVaGC includes a sub-type of lymphoepithelial-like GC. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer worldwide. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in particular is a form that tests negative for hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). Since the tumor cells lack the necessary receptors, the common treatments of hormone therapy and drugs that target ER, PR and HER-2 are ineffective in the treatment of TNBC. EBV is found in a significant portion of breast cancers, particularly TNBC and is associated with the difficulty to treat this disease. EBV is associated with smooth muscle tumors or leiomyosarcomas (EBV LMS) that occur more frequently in immuno-suppressed patients. EBV LMS are rare and difficult to treat.

Viracta plans to initiate clinical trials in EBV+ solid tumors.