Cell-in-a-Box, the name of one of Biotech’s new products is just as intriguing as the drug itself. A recent article in NewsFile characterizes the product as having the potential to revolutionize the current standard of care in treating chronic cancers and disease.
PharmaCyte Biotech just announced that the FDA gave its approval for the company’s cellulose-based live-cell encapsulation technology to pass its first test involving critical quality control. The testing provides assurance that batches of the product meet specifications before they can be approved and released.
More importantly, approval confirms that the product is functional, safe and that it is well-tolerated when administered to trial participants.
Ready for the Next Step
The next step will be filing an Investigational New Drug(IND) application followed by more Phase 2b trials involving inoperable pancreatic cancer.
As the Name Implies
As the trademarked name implies, a variety of living cells are encapsulated in a tiny container the size of the head of a pin. From there dozens of cells can be deposited in an area of the body where they will be of benefit in managing the disease. The encapsulated cells can be inserted easily without discomfort to the patient.
An Inactive Drug
The possible applications of this novel technology are endless since it can be modified to treat many diseases caused by the mutation of cells.
However, the company is currently focusing on the use of a product called ifosfamide that will work with the new technology to treat pancreatic cancer. Ifosfamide is classified as a “prodrug” (inactive drug) that becomes active within the body through stimulation by chemicals or enzymes.
A prodrug such as ifosfamide may be used to improve absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of the primary drug.
PharmaCyte conducted a critical pancreatic cancer study whereby it encapsulated about ten thousand live cells that were genetically engineered. The cells were programmed to activate prodrugs to kill cancer.
About Live-Cell Encapsulation
One of the concerns among scientists has been the loss of treatment dose using standard methods. In many instances, the drug loses its effectiveness due to its short bi0logical half-life before reaching the cancer.
PharmaCyte has addressed this very serious shortfall. In addition, the technology has proven to be more effective due to its passing through the patient’s circulatory system close to the site of the tumor.
The live cells are genetically engineered by PharmaCyte. Blood penetrates the microscopic pores of the capsule nourishing the live cells and establishing an immunity to new attacks by diseased cells.
The design of the cells helps to prevent the contents of the capsule from escaping.
The Technology Creates Improved Chemotherapy
Previous studies by PharmaCyte have shown ifosfamide to enter the encapsulated cells through their pores and become a “bio-artificial liver”. The process activates chemotherapy at the cancer site.
The Technology is Innovative
PharmaCyte’s platform strengthens the idea that through its targeted therapy there is hope for pancreatic cancer patients.
The numbers are startling. The American Cancer Society gives estimates of 57,600 new cases in 2020 with approximately 47,000 patients in the U.S. dying of the disease this year.
Type 1 and Type 2 insulin-dependent diabetes is on Pharmacyte’s drawing board for utilizing its versatile encapsulation platform.
The company’s goal is to use human cells that are genetically engineered for the production, regulation, and release of insulin according to the level of the patient’s blood sugar.
PharmaCyte is also studying methods whereby it can regulate Type 2 diabetes symptoms through modification of stem cells, beta islet cells, and liver cells.
The same method of implanting encapsulated cells utilized in pancreatic cancer therapy will be applied in the treatment of both types of diabetes. However, in the treatment of diabetes, the bio-engineered cells are designed to act as a “bio-artificial pancreas” that produces insulin.
If successful, this innovative method of developing insulin would have a significant effect on the lives of over one hundred million diabetic patients.
Considering the Potential of Cannabinoids
As the public is slowly acknowledging that clinical data regarding cannabinoids are generating positive results, PharmaCyte is working to earn a niche as a legitimate research and development company in the growing cannabis industry.