The European Commission (EC) has awarded a grant to Latima to commercialise its cancer virotherapy medicine in the European Union (EU) markets.

The commercialisation grant has been awarded by Latima within a framework of Horizon 2020 programme, ‘Dedicated support to the biotechnology SMEs closing the gap from lab to market’.

Cancer virotherapy is a treatment of cancer that uses a virus to find and destroy malignant cells in the patient’s body.

Also known as oncolytic virotherapy, this type of cancer treatment is evidence-based and recognised as safe and effective therapy to treat cancer patients.

Being the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme, the Horizon 2020 receives approximately €80bn of funding over seven years, from 2014 to 2020.

The Horizon 2020 programme takes new discoveries from the laboratory to the market, is administered by the European Commission in Brussels and can be used by participants from across the EU.

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Latima is part of Rigvir that develops and promotes cancer virotherapy worldwide.

Rigvir finance director Karlis Urbans said: “There are millions of cancer patients around the world in need of this unique cancer medicine.

"There are millions of cancer patients around the world in need of this unique cancer medicine."

“At the moment Rigvir is approved in three countries so far, however other patients can get virotherapy with Rigvir via medical tourism.

“I hope that this grant will make cancer virotherapy more available for everyone who would benefit from it. Cancer patients deserve this safe, effective and humane cancer treatment.”

Latima is the producer of the world’s first approved cancer virotherapy medicine.

In 2004, the first cancer virotherapy medicine was approved for melanoma treatment by the State Agency of Medicines of Latvia, an EU member state.

Image: First oncolytic virotherapy. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto / Latima.