Tocagen, our longtime San Diego partner, published results today from a major multi-center study that show that their unique treatment for GBM demonstrated significant extended survival compared to control patients on standard of care. They also showed complete and partial tumor shrinkage determined by independent radiological review. Today’s news is good and exciting, not only for the company, but for us, and most importantly, for patients.
We were the first nonprofit to invest in Tocagen, a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company. Harry Gruber, their founder and CEO, came to us because we had mutual friends in the private investment community. We have not only provided funding to Tocagen, we have helped them build their clinical program and network, helped them raise money and generally been good partners.
While these results were generated in a Phase I safety trial, and so are necessarily limited, the inherent nature of GBM, with its quick mortality, enabled them ascertain an improvement in overall survival over controls. These results were published in the well-regarded and peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine. The lead author on the article is our friend Tim Cloughesy at UCLA. Another friend, Tom Mikkelson from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, is quoted in the Tocagen press release.