SILVER SPRING, Md., June 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc. (OTCQB:PMCB), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing targeted treatments for cancer and diabetes using its signature live-cell encapsulation technology, Cell-in-a-Box®, announced today that its research partner, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), successfully obtained a Schedule 1 license from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) enabling the company to continue development of tumor-targeted treatments for serious and deadly cancers by utilizing cannabinoid prodrugs in combination with Cell-in-a-Box® live cell encapsulation.
Although marijuana (Cannabis) is legal in the state of Colorado, use of Cannabis for research purposes at an institution that has federal grants such as UNC is not permitted by the DEA without a Schedule 1 license. The source for the plant material is regulated by DEA, and this material must be obtained through the National Institute for Drug Abuse. With the DEA license, it is now possible for researchers at UNC to obtain both the plant material and specific cannabinoid reference standards needed to conduct the research.
“As we were applying for the Schedule 1 license, ‘model’ compounds, or cannabinoid look-alikes, were utilized to develop research protocols and screen various biological systems,” noted PharmaCyte Biotech’s Principal Investigator and UNC Professor Richard M. Hyslop, Ph.D. “With the license in-hand, we are beginning experiments using the cannabinoids to reexamine the biological systems for activity as well as explore additional systems suitable for use in combination with the Cell-in-a-Box® platform.”
“We are exceedingly pleased with the work that has been accomplished to date at UNC and congratulate Dr. Hyslop and his colleagues at UNC on successfully obtaining the Schedule 1 license,” said Kenneth L. Waggoner, PharmaCyte Biotech’s Chief Executive Officer. “Now that we have the ability to isolate potentially useful substances from the Cannabis plant itself, we can continue development of Cannabis-derived prodrugs and engineered human cell lines for use with the versatile Cell-in-a-Box® platform. These types of natural or ‘green’ approaches to fighting disease offer a potentially huge upside for patients who suffer from all kinds of maladies, not the least of which is brain cancer.”
Obtaining a DEA Schedule 1 license is a rigorous process. In addition to outlining a legitimate and worthwhile line of scientific investigation in a formal application, the process at UNC included inspection of the laboratory facilities, review of UNC’s plans for record-keeping and confirmation of facility security. Records accounting for all types and quantities of Cannabis ordered, when and how used and means of disposal must be maintained and available for DEA officials during site visits. The license is renewable annually.
About PharmaCyte Biotech
PharmaCyte Biotech is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing and preparing to commercialize treatments for cancer and diabetes based upon a proprietary cellulose-based live cell encapsulation technology known as Cell-in-a-Box®. This unique and patented technology will be used as a platform upon which treatments for several types of cancer, including advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer, and diabetes are being built. PharmaCyte Biotech's treatment for pancreatic cancer involves low doses of the well-known chemotherapy prodrug ifosfamide, together with encapsulated live cells, which convert ifosfamide into its active or "cancer-killing" form. These capsules are placed as close to the cancerous tumor as possible to enable the delivery of the highest levels of the cancer-killing drug at the source of the cancer. This "targeted chemotherapy" has proven remarkably effective in past clinical trials. PharmaCyte Biotech is also working towards improving the quality of life for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and on treatments for other types of solid cancerous tumors.
In addition, PharmaCyte Biotech is developing treatments for cancer based upon chemical constituents of the Cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. In doing so, PharmaCyte Biotech is examining ways to exploit the benefits of Cell-in-a-Box® technology in optimizing the anticancer effectiveness of cannabinoids, while minimizing or outright eliminating the debilitating side effects usually associated with cancer treatments. This provides PharmaCyte Biotech the rare opportunity to develop “green” approaches to fighting deadly diseases, such as cancer of the pancreas, brain and breast, which affect hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide every year.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding PharmaCyte Biotech and its future events and results that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan" and similar expressions, as they relate to PharmaCyte Biotech or its management, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Important factors, many of which are beyond the control of PharmaCyte Biotech, could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. They include PharmaCyte's ability to continue as a going concern, delays or unsuccessful results in preclinical and clinical trials, flaws or defects regarding its product candidates, changes in relevant legislation or regulatory requirements, uncertainty of protection of PharmaCyte Biotech’s intellectual property and PharmaCyte Biotech’s continued ability to raise capital. PharmaCyte Biotech does not assume any obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.
More information about PharmaCyte Biotech can be found at www.PharmaCyte.com. It can also be obtained by contacting Investor Relations.
Investor Relations: PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc. Investor Relations Department Telephone: 917.595.2856 Email: Info@PharmaCyte.com