CA102 is a genetically engineered Adenovirus serotype 5/3 carrying a uniquely designed bispecific short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Curigin’s oncolytic virus infects cancer cells and knocks down simultaneously the mTOR and STAT3 pathways, which are crucial for cancer survival and growth.
In contrast to commonly used shRNA with dual promoters, our bispecific shRNA has only one promoter avoiding promoter interference. In addition, it has no passenger RNA resulting in less side effects.
For CA102 to bind with high affinity to cancer cells we modified it so that it has a special knob capable to bind to the desmoglein 2 (DSG2) receptor, which is highly expressed on various types of cancer cells.
CA102 replicates in cancer cells only because of its human telomerase reverse transcriptase promotor (hTERT) that is activated by cancer specific transcription factors. Some of our potential targets for CA102 are bladder, head & neck and pancreatic cancers.