News & Events

ASU Biodesign Institute spinout, OncoMyx Therapeutics, and Skysong Innovations complete licensing agreement

February 25, 2020

OncoMyx Therapeutics, an Arizona State University (ASU) spinout and privately-held oncolytic immunotherapy company founded on the myxoma virus (MYXV) platform, has finalized a licensing agreement with Skysong Innovations, ASU's technology transfer organization. OncoMyx is developing oncolytic immunotherapies to treat cancer, based on the work of Grant McFadden, director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy  and a professor in the...

Myxoma's viral leap into Iberian hares sheds light on how viruses swap genetic material

November 6, 2019

Viruses are all around us – they are present in most environments, lying in wait for the optimal host, and they even reside within our bodies, whether we know it or not. While hopping from species to species, these viruses can swap genetic material with each other and sometimes even with the host. In fact, over the course of millions of years, viral DNA has been integrated into human chromosomes. It is estimated that about 100,000 pieces of viral DNA have merged with human DNA, making up...

Biodesign startup OncoMyx Therapeutics, Inc. receives Fast Lane Award from AZBio

October 15, 2019

The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) named OncoMyx Therapeutics, Inc.,  an Arizona State University Biodesign Institute startup, as a Fast Lane Company for 2019. Other Arizona companies to receive the distinction during Arizona Biosciences Week this year were Biosensing Instrument, Tempe, Arizona, and Gt Medical Technologies, Mesa, Arizona. The annual award recognizes Arizona bioscience companies that have arrived at significant milestones during the past 18 months. Impact...

Master of the immune system: Myxoma virus could solve long-standing medical conundrums

June 25, 2019

Virus: friend or foe? Viruses are likely the most abundant biological entities on Earth – they inhabit every ecosystem, and thus have shaped the evolution of most species. But we have been conditioned to believe that viruses only pose a threat to life. Until recently, viruses were only thought to be infectious agents that exist and replicate within the cells of a host organism, often causing life-threatening illnesses. Although this is true and much of modern healthcare is aimed at...

Wellbeing Commons symposium highlights the work of the state’s most prominent researchers in virology, immunology, microbiology and infectious disease

June 11, 2019

Arizona State University prides itself on an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to solving some of the world’s most prominent problems. Led by Joshua LaBaer, the executive director of the Biodesign Institute and center director for the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, Arizona Wellbeing Commons (AWC) similarly emphasizes the importance of collaboration by bringing together scientists, doctors, and other partners to better human health. The key to...

OncoMyx Therapeutics invests in bringing cancer treatments to market

June 6, 2019

OncoMyx Therapeutics, the latest biotech spinout company from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, announced today it has raised $25 million in new funding to help commercialize an innovative, viral-based therapy for the treatment of cancer. The announcement marks a major business development milestone for OncoMyx founder, research advisor, and ASU Biodesign scientist Grant McFadden, a pioneer in a new field called oncolytic virotherapy that can successfully program a virus...

Biodesign researchers offer new approach to small-cell lung cancer treatment with oncolytic virotherapy

April 30, 2019

Intensive investigations into the nature of cancer have given rise to innovative and unorthodox approaches to this deadly affliction. A recent and exciting avenue of cancer treatment involves targeting malignant cells with specialized viruses that can kill cancer cells while ignoring healthy tissue, a technique known as “oncolytic virotherapy.” The process involves administering an oncolytic virus, which infects and breaks down cancer cells but does not harm healthy self-cells. This...

Hop to it: Researchers evaluate rabbits’ evolved resistance to myxoma virus

February 14, 2019

As most know already, rabbit populations are not easily controlled – they reproduce swiftly, and as a result, they have a severe impact on their environment. This was the case when European settlers introduced the wild European rabbit to Australia in the late 19th century. In an attempt to reduce the population size that had grown to almost a billion rabbits by 1950, Australian scientists released the myxoma virus – a virus known to be deadly to rabbits at the time – to the rabbit...

Nobel Prize 2018 elevates awareness of immunotherapy research

December 10, 2018

Researchers at the Biodesign Institute are searching for new ways to diagnose, treat – and even cure – cancer patients using processes related to immunotherapy. According to the National Cancer Institute, immunotherapy is “a type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases.” The burgeoning field of immunotherapy was recently recognized at the highest level with the announcement of the 2018...

Biodesign symposium hosts researchers from West China

November 19, 2018

Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute, co-hosted a lively and innovative symposium, greeting the international guests in their native language. After enthusiastic applause, the presentations began. The symposium, which hosted representatives from Sichuan University and West China Hospital, in addition to researchers from the Biodesign Institute, focused on exploring strategies for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. The gathering...