The last time we were mentioning PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc (OTCMKTS:PMCB) here at Street Register, the company was reporting on its Investigational New Drug application for its upcoming clinical trial in locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
In something of an addition to that story, without actually updating the public on the progress of the NDA, PMCB recently provided further information about its quest to learn how to best treat cancer with cannabinoids.
PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc (OTCMKTS:PMCB) announced that its research partner, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), has identified an organism whose genome contains the genetic code for production of an enzyme capable of activating a cannabinoid prodrug into its active cancer-killing form.
“We are pleased that UNC has taken us one step closer to developing cannabinoid-based therapies to combat cancer utilizing our proprietary Cell-in-a-Box® live-cell encapsulation technology,” commented PharmaCyte’s Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth L. Waggoner. “PharmaCyte’s innovative Cannabis Program has established PharmaCyte as a serious player in the medical Cannabis sector, and we are exploring additional strategic relationships to advance product development and commercialization.”
PharmaCyte’s Cannabis Program has had two primary areas of focus. The first is confirming the anti-cancer activity of cannabinoids (constituents of the Cannabis plant), such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). UNC’s research has confirmed that a purified cannabinoid showed a potent dose-dependent decrease in cell viability for various cancers, suggesting that this cannabinoid exhibits significant anti-proliferative effects (stops the growth of cancer cells). This activity has been demonstrated in glioblastoma (brain), pancreatic, breast, lung, colon and melanoma cancer cell lines.
The second area of focus is in finding an enzyme capable of converting an inactive, side-effect-free, cannabinoid prodrug into its active cancer-killing form. The research team at UNC has screened numerous cell lines and numerous enzymes. As result of this extensive work, an organism has been identified that has been confirmed to produce an enzyme capable of catalyzing the desired cannabinoid-prodrug-activating reaction. Work is now underway to locate the enzyme’s gene.
Dr. Mark L. Rabe, PharmaCyte’s Director of Cannabis Program Development, commented, “Our work at UNC continues to bear fruit. The work with cancer cell lines not only confirmed cannabinoid anti-cancer activity, it generated important dosing data. The work to identify the needed activating enzyme has been intensive and time-consuming, and we are pleased to have identified a front-running candidate that has exhibited the desired activity.”
Once the location of the activating enzyme gene has been determined within the organism’s genome, a series of steps will occur to amplify and clone the gene and confirm its activity. The gene will then be used to bio-engineer a human cell line that will then become a cannabinoid-prodrug-activating enzyme “factory.” Importantly, the parental human cell line that will be utilized is the same cell line being utilized in PharmaCyte’s therapy for pancreatic cancer. Upon confirmation of the desired activity by the bio-engineered cell line, the final steps include live-cell encapsulation with the Cell-in-a-Box® technology and validation.
Clinically, targeted cannabinoid-based chemotherapy would be accomplished by implanting the encapsulated bio-engineered cells near the site of a tumor, along with administration of a cannabinoid prodrug which would become activated at the site of the tumor by an enzyme produced by the encapsulated cells. The end goal is better efficacy than existing therapies with few, if any, side effects. (Source: Business Wire)
While all of this seems well and good, we are still awaiting word on the company Investigational New Drug application, which we last heard about in May. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more substantial happenings for PMCB. Stay locked on Street Register for updates, and we’ll deliver important developments on PMCB as they unfold. In the meantime, if you have not yet gotten yourself signed up for our 100% free newsletter, do so now! Just enter your active email address into the box below and submit!
Disclosure: No one at Street Register has been compensated in any way for the publishing of this article, nor do we hold any position in PMCB stock, short or long.