PharmaCyte Biotech’s Cell Encapsulation Technology at the Forefront of Future Diabetes Treatments
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Recognizes Cell Encapsulation as a Viable Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that directly affects millions and indirectly affects nearly every family in America today and tens of millions of sufferers abroad. Thus, it is no surprise that Transparency Market Research, in a report entitled ‘Global Diabetes Devices Market and Diabetes Drugs Market – Industry Scenario, Trends, Analysis, Size, Share and Forecast, 2011 - 2018,’ projects that the global diabetes market for therapeutic devices and drugs is expected to reach US $114.3 billion by 2018.
Following decades of failed research, a great deal of attention and funding have recently turned toward utilizing encapsulation techniques to treat Type 1 diabetes (T1D), including the approach championed by PharmaCyte Biotech (OTCQB – PMCB - $0.1152 – Spec Buy), which in turn, is likely to drive clinical and investor interest in the Company.
With over $200 million in assets, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is the leading research organization focused on T1D research. For the uninitiated, T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. The JDRF is helping fund what are deemed as two promising clinical trials using varied encapsulation techniques involving the implantation of cells encapsulated in a material known as alginate, a derivative of seaweed.
The potential stumbling block with these trials is that according to most studies, over time the body’s immune system attacks the alginate, impairing the ability of the cells encapsulated inside the alginate to achieve their objective. Conversely, PharmaCyte Biotech uses a cellulose-based encapsulation technology, Cell-in-a-Box®,, which uses a bio-inert, non-toxic, biocompatible material to make pin-head sized capsules that protect the encapsulated cells from attack by the body's defense mechanisms. At the same time, the capsules provide a microenvironment that enables encapsulated cells to survive for long periods of time, which is a major advantage over other encapsulation technologies, such as those using alginate.
As a result, PharmaCyte Biotech’s Cell-in-a-Box®-based treatment system approach could not only emerge as the superior encapsulation technique used to treat T1D, but it could attract the attention of the JDRF and other major diabetes research sponsors.
The Company has the exclusive worldwide rights to use Melligen cells to treat diabetes. Melligen cells are genetically engineered from human liver cells and have been shown to secrete insulin in response to the concentrations of glucose (blood sugar) in their environment. A recent article published in scientific journal Molecular Therapy noted that when Melligen cells were transplanted into diabetic mice whose immune systems were essentially not functioning, the blood glucose levels of the mice became normal.
This observation illustrates that Melligen cells can reverse the diabetic condition. Therefore, the Melligen cell line, when combined with Cell-in-a-Box® encapsulation, could ultimately become a treatment that has clear advantages over current therapies used for Type 1 diabetes, and could potentially replace them.
With the high-profile shift toward the utilization of encapsulation techniques to treat T1D in research studies taking center stage, and with PharmaCyte Biotech’s own encapsulation system/Melligen preclinical studies in the offing, the value of the Company’s technology to treat this far-reaching disease is primed to receive a boost.
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Senior Analyst: Robert Goldman
Rob Goldman founded Goldman Small Cap Research in 2009 and has over 20 years of investment and company research experience as a senior research analyst and as a portfolio and mutual fund manager. During his tenure as a sell side analyst, Rob was a senior member of Piper Jaffray's Technology and Communications teams. Prior to joining Piper, Rob led Josephthal & Co.'s Washington-based Emerging Growth Research Group. In addition to his sell-side experience Rob served as Chief Investment Officer of a boutique investment management firm and Blue and White Investment Management, where he managed Small Cap Growth portfolios and The Blue and White Fund.
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