Viennese biotech company BlueSky Immunotherapies says it has used its viral vector platform delNS to treat sarcoids in horses successfully, paving the way for a new cancer therapy in humans.

BlueSky says that conventional treatment for equine sarcoids, which are induced by tumour antigens E6 and E7 of the bovine papillomavirus, have only limited effect and typically result in the recurrence of the tumours.

However, research published by the company in PLoSONE1 showed that sarcoids treated with delNS/E6E7 were completely and permanently eliminated.

For the study, 29 horses were treated with different regimes involving direct injection into the tumours over three years. 

Visible and very significant regression of the sarcoids was achieved in 20 of the treated horses, and 100% regression of the sarcoids in 10 equine patients.

Thomas Muster, CEO of BlueSky Immunotherapies said: "The complete elimination of very aggressive and difficult-to-cure equine sarcoids is yet another important proof of the potential offered by our delNS platform."

In addition, the systemic delNS-mediated immune stimulation eliminated non-injected sarcoids and the papillomavirus that caused the sarcoids.

Thomas added: "We are therefore confident that we will also be able to successfully heal and/or eliminate the cervical tumours of the women enrolled in the clinical trials currently under way."


  1. Jindra, C., Hainisch, E. K., Rümmele, A., Wolschek, M., Muster, T., & Brandt, S. (2021). Influenza virus vector iNS1 expressing bovine papillomavirus 1 (BPV1) antigens efficiently induces tumour regression in equine sarcoid patients. PloS one, 16(11), e0260155. 

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