Evaluation of recombinant bovine herpes virus-1 as a platform for novel cancer immunotherapy development

The most recent breakthroughs in cancer treatment are based on understanding that our immune system can be activated to attack tumours. While first achieved using antibody drugs called “checkpoint inhibitors”, this new paradigm of activating a cancer patient’s own immune system is also possible using viruses, an emerging field known as oncolytic virus (OV) therapy. The idea of OV stems from certain viruses that cause minimal disease in humans but have the ability to infect and subsequently elicit an immune response against cancer cells. Dr. Karen Mossman’s lab has discovered that bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1), a virus that naturally infect cattle and not humans, may be developed into novel OV therapies. 3io Therapeutics, the project’s Canadian partner organization, is committed to accelerating development of BHV-1 as a new therapeutic platform to treat cancer and will benefit from the opportunity to commercialize this technology.

Faculty Supervisor:

Karen Mossman


Maria Davola


3io Therapeutics


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Professional, scientific and technical services


McMaster University



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