PharmaCyte Biotech Addressing Unmet Need in Patients with LAPC as Pancreatic Cancer 5-Year Survival Rate Increases to 10%

Laguna Hills, California, UNITED STATES

NEW YORK, NY, Jan. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This month the American Cancer Society announced that for the first time ever, the 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has reached double digits.  While this is certainly good news, the increase in the 5-year survival rate was up just 1% to 10%, and there is still an unmet medical need for patients with locally advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer (LAPC).  PharmaCyte Biotech (OTCQB: PMCB) continues to move toward a planned Phase 2b clinical trial in LAPC to address those patients who no longer see any benefit after being treated for 4-6 months with one of two first-line therapies for the disease.

Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), said, “The entire community of pancreatic cancer researchers, healthcare professionals, volunteers and advocates rallied around our 2020 goal and worked together to accelerate progress against the world’s toughest cancer, and we are so grateful for their dedication and diligent efforts.”

Pancreatic cancer is the 11th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., but it’s the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths.  In 2020, an estimated 57,600 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and approximately 47,050 Americans are expected to die from the disease this year.

“These new statistics underscore the urgency of continuing to focus research, funding and attention on this disease and its threat to society,” Fleshman said.

It is this call to action that has PharmaCyte Biotech excited to get into the clinic to treat patients with LAPC using its signature live-cell encapsulation technology, Cell-in-a-Box® along with low doses of the anti-cancer drug ifosfamide, to address what is a serious unmet medical need in this patient population.

Currently, patients, who are diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer, are offered one of two first-line chemotherapy treatments.  Abraxane plus gemcitabine or a 4-drug combination therapy called FOLFIRINOX.  But, once these treatments no longer offer any benefit to patients, sadly, their options for any meaningful effective treatment have run out.

PharmaCyte is hoping to change the current landscape, however, by using its cellular targeted-chemotherapy to make inoperable tumors—operable—as pancreatic cancer is usually only controllable through removal by surgery and only if found before it has spread to other parts of the body and other organs.  It is an opportunity to give these patients a second chance on life.

Currently, the company is in the final stages in its efforts to submit an Investigational New Drug application (IND) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Once the IND is submitted, PharmaCyte will hope to obtain permission from the FDA to begin its planned clinical trial.

To learn more about PharmaCyte’s pancreatic cancer treatment and how it works inside the body to treat locally advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer, watch the company’s documentary video complete with medical animations at:

About PharmaCyte Biotech

PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing cellular therapies for cancer and diabetes based upon a proprietary cellulose-based live-cell encapsulation technology known as “Cell-in-a-Box®.” This technology will be used as a platform upon which therapies for several types of cancer and diabetes are being developed.

PharmaCyte’s therapy for cancer involves encapsulating genetically engineered human cells that convert an inactive chemotherapy drug into its active or “cancer-killing” form. For pancreatic cancer, these encapsulated cells are implanted in the blood supply to the patient’s tumor as close as possible to the site of the tumor. Once implanted, a chemotherapy drug that is normally activated in the liver (ifosfamide) is given intravenously at one-third the normal dose. The ifosfamide is carried by the circulatory system to where the encapsulated cells have been implanted. When the ifosfamide flows through pores in the capsules, the live cells inside act as a “bio-artificial liver” and activate the chemotherapy drug at the site of the cancer. This “targeted chemotherapy” has proven effective and safe to use in past clinical trials and results in little to no treatment related side effects.

PharmaCyte’s therapy for Type 1 diabetes and insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetes involves encapsulating a human cell line that has been genetically engineered to produce and release insulin in response to the levels of blood sugar in the human body. PharmaCyte is developing the use of genetically modified liver cells and stem cells, as well beta islet cells, to treat diabetes. The encapsulation will be done using the Cell-in-a-Box® technology. Once the encapsulated cells are implanted in a diabetic patient, they will function as a “bio-artificial pancreas” for purposes of insulin production.

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