Vesselon, an oncology therapeutics company, today announced it has secured an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Temple University for patented technology that enables viral therapy to be delivered repeatedly by systemic injection.
The licensed technology was developed by Pier Paolo Claudio, MD, while Director, Molecular Therapeutic Program at Temple University in PA. Dr. Claudio identified a means by which Vesselon's microbubbles could serve as an effective drug complex with genes loaded within safe viral particles to treat specific tissue sites for therapeutic purposes. This method is particularly significant for the treatment of difficult cancers.
"When we performed the underlying research for this patent, we knew that intravenous injections of viruses were suboptimal as viruses were removed quickly by the liver and they caused immune defense responses by the body which limits repeat injections," said Dr. Claudio. "Viral delivery of genes is still the most effective means to provide gene therapy for both cancer and a host of other diseases ? if you can get the viruses into the tumor. We found Vesselon's Imagent microbubble to be superior for encapsulating and protecting these safe viruses from the body's immune defenses and allowed targeted delivery of the virus and their genes only to specific tissues by using standard levels of diagnostic ultrasound." Dr. Claudio continues his research as Professor of BioMolecular Sciences at University of Mississippi, Cancer Center and Research Institute.
"We are extremely enthusiastic about the potential of our Imagent lipid microspheres to solve cutting edge challenges in immuno-oncology," stated Clay Larsen, President and CEO of Vesselon. "Oncolytic viruses have enormous potential to both treat and, in fact, stop cancer in its tracks. Unfortunately only surgical methods of intratumoral delivery of the viruses has been the standard. The technology in this patent has been cited and successfully applied multiple times in preclinical literature as a means to enable viral-mediated transfection of genes into tumors. We look forward to bringing those techniques into clinical trials for further demonstration of its safety and efficacy in some of cancer's toughest malignancies."
As previously announced, Vesselon acquired the Imagent® Perflexane Lipid Microspheres (originally approved by FDA under NDA 21-191) to develop novel therapeutic drug complexes. "Vesselon will utilize Imagent as the backbone of its encapsulated drug/drug platform technology in conjunction with other patents in our portfolio," said Rhodemann Li, Vesselon Founder and Executive Vice President. "We believe allowing repeated, systemic injections of our virus-microsphere complex will be a watershed enablement of this entire class of oncolytic viruses."
The Company also has as a key patent in its portfolio under an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Columbia University, a leader in research associated with microsphere-mediated drug optimization. The technology involves the use of opening tissue barriers in multiple fields, including oncology, using lipid microspheres (also known as microbubbles) under ultrasound guidance?so that drugs may enter those tissues in greater concentrations and with greater effectiveness. Vesselon is utilizing this technology in conjunction with its Vascular Encapsulation Sonication Targeting (VESTtm) platform for immuno-oncology.
Vesselon, Inc., is developing VESTtm, a novel therapeutic immuno-oncology complex that protects and targets tumors. VESTtm stands for Vascular Encapsulation Sonication Targeting and is comprised of three FDA approved elements: Imagent, a lipid microsphere drug; standard ultrasound equipment; and oncology drugs, all combined as drug/drug platform technology. Vesselon's proprietary complexes work across a spectrum of cancers and other serious diseases with a variety of drug classes. For more information please visit www.vesselon.com.
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