At a time when scientists are trying to find a vaccine for the new virus, a New Laboratory in one of the northern European country capitals, Riga, has received a highly regarded Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate.
What will be produced?
The new laboratory will producethe active substance of Oncolytic Virus ECHO-7,whichwas discovered in the 1960s, by one of the greatest scientists of Latvia – Aina Muceniece.
Professor A. Muceniece led a team of researchers of the Latvian Institute of Microbiology and Virology to discover that human intestinal viruses can kill tumors. Later in 1965 she founded the Cancer Virotherapy Laboratory where extensive studies were carried out and permission was granted to use the virus in clinical practice. A. Muceniece received several national accolades and was rightfully acknowledged as the founder of cancer virotherapy.
Oncolytic virotherapy is a relatively modern approach in treating certain cancers. Oncolytic virus is a ‘biological weapon’ that acts against cancer cells. It has the ability to find, infect and lyse (kill) the cancer cells while preserving normal cells and stimulating the immune responses due to the immunomodulatory properties. Oncolytic virus therapies are proving to be a viable modality for use in cancer treatments both alone and used in combination with other treatment options. The medical community is overly excited about oncolytic virotherapy as it is showing efficacy in many hard-to-treat cancerous tumors such as melanoma.
What is GMP?
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that pharmaceutical products are consistently produced and controlled according to high quality standards. The standards are designed to minimize the risks that cannot be eliminated through testing the final products. To ensure the safety and integrity of drugs, in Europe GMP is governed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), but in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).