The Laboratory of Oncolytic-Virus-Immuno-Therapeutics (LOVIT) is a strategic alliance between LIH and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) established in 2016 to advance research on oncolytic virus immunotherapy. 

Research projects

The LOVIT research unit mainly focuses on oncolytic rat parvovirus H-1 (H-1PV) which is not pathogenic for humans and possesses oncolytic and oncosuppressive properties.

The research program of LOVIT builds on recent pioneering studies and more specifically on the development ofa first generation of Ad-PV chimeras in which an engineered version of the H-1PV genome was inserted into the Ad5 genome. This  study showed that :

  • The Ad carrier serves as a Trojan horse to efficiently bring the PV-genome into cancer cells,
  • The PV DNA gets excised from the Ad backbone and initiates a genuine PV cycle in an autonomous way.

As a result, the chimeras were shown to be able to specifically infect and kill cancer cells by their cytolytic activity and to produce PV particles able to invade and further propagate into neighboring cancer cells inducing secondary rounds of lytic infection.  

The Ad-PV chimera represents an innovative anticancer agent that can be further improved (e.g. through arming with therapeutic transgenes) and/or combined with other anticancer modalities (e.g. immunotherapy) to enhance antitumour potential.The construction of second generation chimera and the rational design of Ad-PV chimera based combination strategies are the main goals of LOVIT. 

The ambition of the research unit is to produce the necessary proof(s)-of- concept necessary to move most promising therapies from the bench into the clinic.

Featured Publications

Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy.

  • Laboratory of Oncolytic-Virus-Immuno-Therapeutics
July 22, 2021
2021 Jul. Cancers.13(15):3672.
  • Marchini A
  • Ilkow CS
  • Melcher A.

Virotherapy in Germany-Recent activities in virus engineering, preclinical development, and clinical studies.

  • Laboratory of Oncolytic-Virus-Immuno-Therapeutics
July 21, 2021
2021 Jul. Viruses.13(8):1420.
  • Nettelbeck DM
  • Leber MF
  • Altomonte J
  • Angelova A
  • Beil J
  • Berchtold S
  • Delic M
  • Eberle J
  • Ehrhardt A
  • Engeland CE
  • Fechner H
  • Geletneky K
  • Goepfert K
  • Holm PS
  • Kochanek S
  • Kreppel F
  • Krutzke L
  • Kuhnel F
  • Lang KS
  • Marchini A
  • Moehler M
  • Muhlebach MD
  • Naumann U
  • Nawroth R
  • Nuesch J
  • Rommelaere J
  • Lauer UM
  • Ungerechts G.

Oncolytic H-1 parvovirus binds to sialic acid on laminins for cell attachment and entry.

  • Laboratory of Oncolytic-Virus-Immuno-Therapeutics
  • NORLUX Neuro-Oncology Laboratory
June 22, 2021
2021 Jun. Nat Commun.12(1):3834.
  • Kulkarni A
  • Ferreira T
  • Bretscher C
  • Grewenig A
  • El-Andaloussi N
  • Bonifati S
  • Marttila T
  • Palissot V
  • Hossain JA
  • Azuaje F
  • Miletic H
  • Ystaas LAR
  • Golebiewska A
  • Niclou SP
  • Roeth R
  • Niesler B
  • Weiss A
  • Brino L
  • Marchini A.
See all publications