Oncolytic adenovirus expressing bispecific antibody targets T-cell cytotoxicity in cancer biopsies.
Oncolytic viruses exploit the cancer cell phenotype to complete their lytic life cycle, releasing progeny virus to infect nearby cells and repeat the process. We modified the oncolytic group B adenovirus EnAdenotucirev (EnAd) to express a bispecific single‐chain antibody, secreted from infected tumour cells into the microenvironment. This bispecific T‐cell engager (BiTE) binds to EpCAM on target cells and cross‐links them to CD3 on T cells, leading to clustering and activation of both CD4 and CD8 T cells. BiTE transcription can be controlled by the virus major late promoter, limiting expression to cancer cells that are permissive for virus replication. This approach can potentiate the cytotoxicity of EnAd, and we demonstrate using primary pleural effusions and peritoneal malignant ascites that infection of cancer cells with the BiTE‐expressing EnAd leads to activation of endogenous T cells to kill endogenous tumour cells despite the immunosuppressive environment. In this way, we have armed EnAd to combine both direct oncolysis and T cell‐mediated killing, yielding a potent therapeutic that should be readily transferred into the clinic.