Invion (ASX: IVX) has united with Hudson Institute of Medical Research to collaborate on advancing Invion’s cancer treatment technology Photosoft.
The alliance opens the door for the parties to work together on research and development projects using Photosoft to treat a range of cancers, including ovarian cancer.
Hudson will bring to the collaboration its research facilities and expertise. The institute will also ensure compliance with legislation and industry standards.
“Securing a research alliance with a globally recognised research organisation like Hudson Institute represents an important step in our research and development plans for Photosoft,” Invion managing director and chief executive officer Dr Greg Collier said.
Adding to Dr Collier’s comments, Hudson Institute chief executive officer Prof Elizabeth Hartland said early data on Photosoft was “very encouraging”.
“We believe that Photosoft represents a real opportunity to improve the lives of millions of cancer patients around the world,” Prof Hartland added.
The Cho Group will fund Invion’s research costs as part of an existing non-dilutive funding agreement.
Photo dynamic therapy
Invion’s Photosoft is based on photo dynamic therapy, which basically uses light to kill cancer cells and other abnormal tissues.
It works by exposing non-toxic photosensitising agents to specific light wavelengths. When the agents are exposed to specific light wavelengths, they produce a form of oxygen (known as cytotoxic-reactive oxygen) that can destroy nearby cells without damaging the surrounding tissue.
The technology essentially shuts down malignant tumours while stimulating the immune system, unlike current treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy which suppress the immune system.
Photo dynamic therapy shuts the tumour down by causing necrosis or apoptosis in the malignant cells and killing the tumour’s microvasculature structure.
Presently, photo dynamic therapy is used to treat superficial skin cancers and sun spots.
According to Invion, its Photosoft is a next generation photo dynamic therapy which offers enhanced solubility and tissue distribution.
The company reported Photosoft has better absorption and enables deeper penetration into tissues to more specifically target a tumour than first generation technologies.
The photosensitising agent used is chlorophyll-based and a combination of chlorin and chlorophyllin.
Invion’s Photosoft incorporates laser light activation to generate short, pulsating near infrared wavelengths.
The agent is water soluble and can be administered sublingually and intravenously.
Invion claims the agent is highly selective and only accumulates in cancer cells, enabling light activation across the entire body to treat every part affected by cancer including deep seated tumours and circulating cancer cells.
Additionally, during phase I clinical trials, Photosoft was seen to stimulate a positive immune response.
In a second phase I trial on 37 patients with prostate cancer, Photosoft was seen to be safe and well-tolerated. The primary treatment group reported a global reduction in prostate size with a higher presence of immune-related biomarkers.
More than 20,000 men in Australia and New Zealand are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year – costing the health systems around A$26,000 per annum.
Invion believes there is a large market opportunity in treating prostate cancer, alone.
Shares in Invion had rocketed more than 36% by early afternoon trade to A$0.026.