Tuesday, 19 June 2012

OncoSec Medical says new method of use patent expands market opportunities for cancer therapies

Biopharmaceutical company OncoSec Medical (OTC:ONCS) said Tuesday that a new "Method of Use" patent has been issued for the company's OMS ElectroOncology treatment platform by the Australia patent office.
The patent, titled “Method and Device for Treating Microscopic Residual Tumors Remaining in Tissues Following Surgical Resection", provides the company with the potential to expand its market opportunities for minimally invasive and surgical procedures to treat solid tumours - as an adjunct therapy to earlier-stage cancers.
Specifically, it allows the company's OMS technology to be used to treat the margins of solid tumors following surgical resection.
One of the methods of treating solid tumours, which represent the majority of all cancer incidences, is the surgical removal of the tumour along with removal of the healthy tissue that surrounds the main tumour's mass.
Removing the additional tissue is important as it ensures that peripheral cancerous cells are also eliminated in order to prevent recurrence. But the removal of healthy tissue can result in function loss and have potentially detrimental cosmetic effects that may jeopardize a patient's quality of life.
OncoSec's OMS ElectroChemotherapy is an investigational therapy that is being evaluated to reduce the rate of cancer recurrence, without the quality of life side effects that result from the removal of healthy tissue.
OncoSec uses its OMS electroporation delivery system that applies short electric pulses to cells, causing the opening of pores in the cell membrane, and allowing for the efficient and safe delivery of immunotherapy or chemotherapy agents to treat a range of solid tumour cancers.
As a potential adjunct to surgery, the OMS ElectroChemotherapy approach involves the removal of the tumor mass using a scalpel, without removing any excess healthy tissue, followed by treatment with OMS ElectroChemotherapy.
The therapy has been shown to selectively kill cancer cells that may exist in the surrounding tissue, resulting in reduced recurrence rates.
"The issuance of this patent opens the possibility for improving surgical outcomes in cancer therapy," said OncoSec's president and CEO, Punit Dhillon.
"There is a tremendous unmet clinical need, especially for advanced cancer where recurrence rates associated with surgery remain high."
"Treatment of margin tissue with our therapy potentially expands the market for our product beyond those indications we are currently pursuing for the use of the technology.
"We envision that surgical margins could be routinely treated with our therapy, providing increased benefit to patients."
OncoSec is currently focused on developing advanced-stage OMS ElectroOncology therapies to treat solid tumors and metastatic disease.
The company recently announced it had entered into an exclusive manufacturing agreement with DNA plasmid services business VGXI (VGXI) for the production of its cancer immunotherapy.
The company said the exclusive agreement is significant as it uses VGXI's patented DNA plasmid manufacturing process to produce the drug, called interleukin-12 plasmid DNA (DNA IL-12), used in OncoSec's OMS ElectroImmunotherapy program.
OMS ElectroImmunotherapy is currently being developed in phase II studies for the treatment of three rare skin cancer indications - metastatic melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
The locally administered and potentially systemic ElectroImmunotherapy program uses the OMS electroporation system to deliver the DNA-based immunotherapy, known as DNA IL-12.
The OMS electroporation system has proven to enhance cellular uptake, effectively treating cancerous cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue cutting through the toxic side effects of current available treatment options like chemotherapy and radiation.
Shares of OncoSec closed Monday at 18.1 cents.

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