PharmaCyte Biotech Cell Encapsulation Technology Could Re-Shape and Lead
Advancements in Diabetes Treatments
Investors that overlook PharmaCyte Biotech’s (OTCQB – PMCB - $0.1035 – Spec Buy) breakthrough technology to treat diabetes may be kicking themselves in the end, given the low valuation afforded this innovative biotech pioneer. Overshadowed by its pending clinical trial for the treatment for pancreatic cancer which could treat tens of thousands of patients, success in PharmaCyte Biotech’s diabetes treatment studies alone could be worth billions of dollars and change the lives of millions.
Here is why.
According to a report by Transparency Market Research, entitled ‘Global Diabetes Devices Market and Diabetes Drugs Market – Industry Scenario, Trends, Analysis, Size, Share and Forecast, 2011 - 2018,’ the global diabetes market for therapeutic devices and drugs is expected to reach US $114.3 billion by 2018. After all, diabetes kills more Americans than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
PharmaCyte Biotech 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.
This treatment category represents an even larger opportunity for the Company than its current cancer treatment initiatives, as there is no cure for diabetes and the current insulin replacement technologies certainly leave much room for improvement, as anyone with insulin-dependent diabetes will attest.
For example, since the year 2000, efforts have been made to develop treatments for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) (the patients’ insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells have been destroyed by an autoimmune reaction) that do not involve multiple daily injections of insulin to control the blood sugar levels of individuals suffering from this disease including the use of encapsulation techniques. However, the success of these approaches is somewhat limited because the encapsulation material used in such studies is often alginate, a derivative of seaweed. Compared to PharmaCyte Biotech’s cellulose-based capsules, alginate-based capsules have a rather limited lifetime in the body and need to be replaced, and the insulin-producing capacity of the islet cells within such capsules is difficult to maintain. In addition, the use and/or supply of human or pig islet, cells which are responsible for producing insulin, can be very problematic.
The article also noted that in order for the cells to be effective in treating humans with T1D, they must be protected from the body’s immune system after introduction, which is where PMCB comes in. The Melligen cell line, when combined with Cell-in-a-Box® encapsulation, could ultimately become a treatment that has clear advantages over current insulin injection and pump therapies for Type 1 diabetes. Therefore, the PMCB Cell-in-a-Box® -based treatment system approach could potentially replace these therapies.
One of the next steps is to engage in vivo studies using Cell-in-a-Box® to confirm the Melligen line’s viability after encapsulation, and other parameters related to its insulin production. Upon successful completion of these Cell-in-a-Box®/Melligen tests, the next stage would be to initiate early-phase human clinical trials, which will be watched very closely by doctors and patients alike.
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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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