While Invion Group (ASX: IVX) progresses its next-generation photodynamic therapy INV043 for treating cancers, it is also advancing the therapy’s potential in combating bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic diseases and atherosclerosis, which causes heart problems.
In June this year, Invion executed a co-development agreement with RMW Cho Group to further develop Invion’s Photosoft technology for treating atherosclerosis and infectious diseases.
As part of this transaction, Invion raised $4.5 million via a placement and will provide RMW a one-off $2.25 million payment to cover development costs. Invion will then have exclusive distribution rights to the technology for treating these diseases in the Asia Pacific region (excluding greater China).
Substantial need for alternative treatments
According to Invion, there is a substantial need for effective alternative therapies in treating infectious diseases and atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a major contributor to the increase in cardiovascular diseases. It causes plaque to build up inside arteries.
Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death globally and Invion estimates the market for treating atherosclerosis will reach U$56.6 billion by 2027.
Meanwhile, the global pandemic has pushed the spotlight on developing adequate treatments for infectious diseases.
COVID-19 alone has had an unprecedented economic impact – costing the world more than US$20 trillion in 2020, with forecasts from University of Cambridge as high of US$82 trillion by 2025 in a worst-case scenario.
Next generation photodynamic technology
Invion’s Photosoft technology is an improved next generation photodynamic therapy.
It essentially works using non-toxic photosensitiser INV043, which is activated by visible light to generate cytotoxic-reactive oxygen that can kill malignant and abnormal cells (including bacteria and viruses) and shut down tumours.
The technology does this while also stimulating the immune system.
This is in contrast to radiotherapy and chemotherapy which suppress the immune system in cancers. It is highly very specific and targeted, which reduces unwanted side effects that also come with these treatments.
The US Food and Drug Association approved earlier generations of photodynamic therapy for some cancers and diseases although they have had limitations which Invion looks to overcome with its Photosoft technology.
If it can achieve similar promising results for infectious diseases and atherosclerosis as it has for cancer, Invion believes it could revolutionise the way these serious illnesses are treated.