Our gene therapy platform utilizes retroviral replicating vectors, or RRVs, which are designed to selectively deliver therapeutic genes into cancer cells. Cancer cells learn how to evade the immune system and in doing so create an immune-defective sanctuary for RRV replication and persistence. RRVs are designed to selectively integrate into the DNA of cancer cells, which then serve as factories to produce more RRVs by budding. These progeny RRVs infect neighboring cancer cells, providing long-term presence of the therapeutic gene or genes.
Due to the novel mechanisms of action and favorable safety profile in clinical studies to date, Tocagen believes its RRV platform and lead product candidate, Toca 511 & Toca FC, have the potential to selectively infect cancer cells to stimulate robust and durable anti-cancer immune responses, and can do so with minimal toxicity.