Tocagen Inc., a clinical-stage cancer-selective gene therapy company, focuses on developing and commercializing product candidates designed to activate a patient's immune system against their cancer. Tocagen’s cancer-selective gene therapy platform is built on retroviral replicating vectors (RRVs), which are designed to deliver therapeutic genes into the DNA of cancer cells. The company’s lead product candidate is Toca 511 & Toca FC that is in the Phase 2 portion of a randomized, controlled Phase 2/3 clinical trial for patients with recurrent high grade glioma (HGG). It is also developing Toca 511 & Toca FC in a Phase 1b clinical trial for metastatic cancers, including colorectal, pancreatic, breast, lung, melanoma, and renal. In addition, the company is developing other RRVs to deliver genes to cancer cells against validated immunotherapy targets, such as the checkpoint protein PD-L1.
Foresite Capital was one of the lead investors in Tocagen’s initial public offering in April 2017. Tocagen’s novel gene therapy for HGG has shown encouraging clinical activity in highly refractory patients and was awarded breakthrough designation by the FDA. We believe Tocagen’s platform has applicability to a wide range of solid tumors and with additional positive data could become an approved agent in HGG, an area in desperate need of new therapeutic options.