PsiOxus Therapeutics has treated its first patient in a Phase I/II trial of oncolytic vaccine ColoAd1, for the treatment of metastatic solid tumours.

The evaluating oncolytic vaccine efficacy (Evolve) study will assess safety, biological activity and tolerability of ColoAd1, a broad-spectrum, anti-cancer therapeutic capable of destroying tumour cells at minute concentrations.

The company will conduct the multinational study at up to 20 sites in Europe, and anticipates initial study results by the end of 2013.

PsiOxus CEO Dr John Beadle said the study is testing a new form of anti-cancer agent with improved selectivity for tumour cells in humans.

"While there remains much work to be done, the Evolve study could forge a path to a new treatment option for patients with metastatic cancer," Dr Beadle said.

"The advantage of this type of cancer vaccine is that the immune response will be specific for each patient’s own personal cancer."

The Phase I component of the study is, at present, recruiting patients with solid tumours, who have no further conventional treatment option open to them, while the Phase II component will then recruit metastatic colorectal cancer patients who have already received standard first-line therapy.

Progression-free survival, when compared to patients receiving standard therapy alone, is the primary endpoint of the Phase II component, while the secondary endpoints include response rates and overall survival.

The trial is funded from the £22m ($34m) investment made by Imperial Innovations, SROne, Lundbeckfond Ventures and Invesco Perpetual, in addition to £1.8m ($2.91m) from the Wellcome Trust.