Raleigh, NC, September 21st, 2017 – Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies, Inc. (www.advancedchemotech.com), a combination drug-device company focused on developing iontophoresis drug delivery devices, today announced receipt of a $299,805 grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to further research our implantable iontophoresis chemotherapy delivery device.
“We appreciate the NIH’s recognition of our novel pancreatic cancer device research. With this award, ACT can accelerate the development of this life saving device,” said Tony Voiers President and CEO of ACT.
Every day, an estimated 150 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and about 120 people will die from the disease. One of the major challenges of pancreatic cancer that contributes to its poor survival rates is the development of resistance to standard chemotherapy. Heterogeneity of the tumor, the dense fibroblastic stroma, and the aggressive biology of the tumor all contribute to chemoresistance. Furthermore, as the aggressive tumor grows into adjacent tissues, it can invade the liver or the stomach, and more often invades local vasculature, rendering the tumor inoperable. As surgical resection is currently the gold standard for treatment, a locally advanced tumor that is non-resectable leaves patients in a state where only palliative care may be offered. ACT is developing a technology that will convert patients with locally advanced non-resectable disease into candidates for surgical resection, by shrinking the tumor away from these vital structures, improving quality of life and extending survival.
“The iontophoretically delivery of chemotherapy drugs has the potential to reduce systemic effects of chemotherapies and target tumors with reduced vascularity. For these reasons, I feel that it is highly likely that your product will provide a beneficial effect for patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer.,” said Cristina Ferrone, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School.
“The work proposed in your SBIR project will be very important to further develop your technology for targeted delivery of chemotherapy treatment to a solid tumor. The iontophoretically delivery of chemotherapy drugs has the potential to reduce systemic effects of chemotherapies and target tumors with reduced vascularity. For these reasons, I feel that it is highly likely that your product will provide a beneficial effect for patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer,” said David Bentrem, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Northwestern School of Medicine
The device was developed at the UNC School of Medicine by collaborating scientists Jen Jen Yeh, M.D., Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D. and then M.D./Ph.D. student James Byrne. Yeh is associate professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Surgery. DeSimone is a chancellor’s eminent professor of chemistry at UNC and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University and of Chemistry at UNC. DeSimone is also co-founder and CEO of Carbon3D. Byrne is now a Clinical Fellow in Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. ACT holds exclusive rights to the patented technology.
ACT is a biotechnology company developing implantable devices to infuse chemotherapy drugs directly into affected organs, targeting difficult-to-reach tumors while largely sparing surrounding tissues, organs and blood vessels. Our first device, about the size of a quarter, will be implanted in the pancreas with electrical leads running to the abdomen. The device uses a process called iontophoresis that drives the chemotherapy into the tumor using electrical currents that pass through the drug solution into the tissue. The desmoplastic stroma that is a barrier to systemic chemotherapy because of poor diffusion from the blood vessels can now be opened through a process known as reversible electroporation, permitting the chemotherapy to pass into the tumor. This approach for more precise drug delivery is designed to shrink tumors enough for surgeons to remove them.While not always curative, that improvement could extend those patients’ life expectancy. ACT is headquartered in Raleigh, NC. For more information about ACT, visit www.advancedchemotech.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.