IMLYGIC® Triggers an Antitumor Immune Response1

IMLYGIC® (talimogene laherparepvec) has been genetically modified to replicate within tumors and to produce the immune stimulatory protein granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). When IMLYGIC® is injected into melanoma tumors, it causes lysis of tumor cells followed by release of tumor-derived antigens, which together with virally derived GM-CSF may promote an antitumor immune response. However, the exact mechanism of action is unknown.1

Cancer immunity cycle1,2

Illustration demonstrating the cancer immunity cycle

A modified virus with multiple effects1

Using recombinant DNA technology, herpes simplex virus type 1 has been genetically modified to replicate in cancer cells and may promote an antitumor immune response.1,3

Controlled replication3

  • Deletion of the infected cell protein (ICP) 34.5 gene promotes specific replication of IMLYGIC® in tumor tissue3

Increased antigen expression and presentation3

  • Deletion of ICP 47 prevents down-regulation of antigen presentation molecules3
  • Inserted GM-CSF may recruit and activate antigen-presenting cells, which can process and present TDA to promote an effector T-cell response2,3

The exact mechanism of action is unknown,1 and is for illustrative purposes only. It is not meant to imply clinical efficacy.1

Illustration of a modified herpes virus


  1. IMLYGIC® (talimogene laherparepvec) Prescribing Information, BioVex, Inc., a subsidiary of Amgen Inc.
  2. Chen DS, Mellman I. Oncology meets immunology: the cancer-immunity cycle. Immunity. 2013;39:1-10.
  3. Liu BL, Robinson M, Han Z-Q, et al. ICP34.5 deleted herpes simplex virus with enhanced oncolytic, immune stimulating, and anti-tumour properties. Gene Ther. 2003;10:292-303.