Prof. Aina Muceniece (1924 – 2010)
Author of ECHO-7 virus discovery
Scientists in the Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the Latvian Academy of Sciences discover that viruses recovered from the intestines of healthy children are capable of destroying tumors.
The Cancer Virotherapy Laboratory is established at the Institute to study this virus phenomenon further under the leadership of Aina Muceniece.
The Ministry of Health Protection (the competent regulatory authority) approves the start of RIGVIR® clinical trials in the 2nd Department of the Oncology Dispensary and the 18th Chemotherapy Department of the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical Hospital in Riga.
Extended RIGVIR® clinical trials start in three Riga hospitals: Latvian Oncology Center (the former Oncology Dispensary), the P. Stradiņš Clinical Hospital, Riga Stradiņš University Institute of Dentistry (at that time AML), and the Saratov Oncology Hospital (Russia). At that time the studies were, however, neither randomised nor double-blind. Over 700 patients are enrolled in these clinical trials until 1991.
Part of the multicenter and multinational Rigvir clinical trials also start at the All-Union Cancer Research Center in Moscow.
With the destabilization and collapse of Soviet Union the registration and research process of ECHO-7 virus and oncolytic virotherapy is interrupted and halted.
RIGVIR® is registered by the State Agency of Medicines of the Republic of Latvia, thus Rigvir becomes the first approved oncolytic virotherapy medication.
International Virotherapy Center is established in Riga, Latvia. Its mission is to provide virotherapy information for every cancer patient who wants it.
Oncolytic virotherapy with RIGVIR® is included in the list of reimbursable state-funded medical products in Latvia for skin melanoma patients.
Oncolytic virotherapy with RIGVIR® is included in the clinical guidelines of the National Health Service of Latvia entitled “Diagnostics, treatment and dynamic observation of skin cancer and melanoma”.
The first cancer virotherapy excellence center, the Global Virotherapy Cancer Clinic, is opened in Jūrmala, Latvia.
The RIGVIR® marketing authorization holder receives a grant from “Horizon 2020” to support activities for registration in the European Union.
RIGVIR® receives special recommendations for medication registration in EU from European Medicines agency (EMA).
RIGVIR® manufacturer receives intellectual property award “WIPO Enterprise Trophy”.
RIGVIR® manufacturer receives Seal of Excellence award given by European Commission.
Rigvir Group becomes a biotech company.