Manbok Kim, PhD
Asst. Professor @ Dankook Univ.
Naturally occurring viruses are live replication-proficient viruses specifically infecting human cancer cells while sparing their normal counterparts.
Since the discovery of naturally oncotropic viruses in the 1920s, various replicating viruses have shown degrees of safety and efficacy in pre-clinical and clinical application for human anti-cancer therapeutics. Cellular oncogenes such as Ras and c-Myc are known to be important host genes for oncolytic viral tropism decision.
Importantly, we recently discovered that cellular tumor suppressor genes are also important in determining oncolytic viral tropism. Carcinogenesis is a multi-step process involving accumulation of not only oncogene abnormality but also the accumulation of tumor suppressor gene abnormality. Thus, it is interesting that oncolytic viruses are known to exploit abnormal oncogene and cellular tumor suppressor signaling, frequently dysregulated in various human malignancies, for their decision of oncolytic specificity and efficacy.
Unlike oncogenes, many tumor suppressor genes such as p53, ATM, and RB are known to play important roles in genomic fidelity & maintenance. Thus tumor suppressor gene abnormality could affect host genomic integrity and likely disrupt intact antiviral networks due to accumulation of genetic defects resulting in natural viral oncotropism.
ViroCure finds naturally occurring oncotropic viruses for targeting various human or animal malignancies, to develop safe and effective treatments to a wide variety of illnesses.
Oncolytic virus research group formed in Dankook University
Establishment of ViroCure, Inc.
Startup investment from ActnerLab
Startup investment from Suprema Investment
Startup investment from Wonik Investment Partners
R&D Lab established in Seoul Guro-digital Complex. ViroCure approved by Korea Technology Finance Corporation for Venture Inc.
ViroCure accepted as an incubating company in Yancheng Rehoboth business center in China
ViroCure accepted as a resident company to the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator program in the United States
ViroCure facility launched at UMass Lowell's Massachusetts Medical Device Development (M2D2) Center.