Research & Development
Vesselon Acquires FDA-Approved Lipid Microsphere Drug Imagent For Therapeutic Platform
9 August 2019 - - US-based oncology therapeutics company Vesselon has acquired an FDA-approved drug Imagent, the company said.

Vesselon will use Imagent to create novel therapeutic complexes in four classes of cancer drugs: cytokines, oncolytic viruses, monoclonal antibodies, and nucleic acid constructs.

Vesselon incorporates Imagent into its Vascular Encapsulation Sonication Targeting (VEST) system that combines three FDA-approved elements: the Imagent drugs, conventional ultrasound, plus an approved cancer drug.

The ultrasound is used to actively target the drugs by aiming the ultrasound precisely at the tumor, causing the Imagent drug to oscillate in the capillaries to selectively open vessel wall barriers (e.g., the tumor microenvironment or blood-brain barrier).

In addition, certain drugs can be encapsulated inside the Imagent microsphere to be released by ultrasound only at the tumor site.

This combination of precise tumor targeting and the release only at the tumor addresses the three major issues facing all cancer therapy: toxicity, degradation, and targeting.

Imagent is approved by the FDA (NDA 21-191) for diagnostic purposes as a contrast agent for diagnostic ultrasound. There is an extensive body of preclinical and clinical evidence that microspheres and ultrasound act at the capillary level to both carry and deposit drugs directly to tumors.

This protective mechanism avoids the degradation and limits toxicity associated with most advanced anti-cancer agents.

In addition to protecting the drug while in circulation in the body, this therapy also precisely targets the malignant tissue, significantly reducing the toxicity and side effects of anti-cancer and immuno-oncology drugs.

Four broad classes of drugs are being developed by Vesselon: 1.) cytokines (interleukins), 2.) nucleic acids, 3.) monoclonal antibodies (checkpoint inhibitors), and 4.) oncolytic viruses designed to replicate only in cancer cells.

VEST is particularly valuable for the cutting-edge immuno-oncology products drugs that use the body's own immune system to counteract the growth and spread of malignant tumors.

Because Imagent has been approved for use by the FDA, and considering that VEST will be used only with already FDA-approved therapeutic agents, Vesselon expects the regulatory process for its drug/drug complexes to be straightforward.

Vesselon, Inc., is developing VEST, a novel therapeutic immuno-oncology complex that protects and targets tumors. VEST stands for Vascular Encapsulation Sonication Targeting and is comprised of three FDA approved elements: Imagent, a lipid microsphere drug; standard ultrasound equipment; and oncology drugs, all combined as drug/drug platform technology.

Vesselon's proprietary complexes work across a spectrum of cancers and other serious diseases with a variety of drug classes.

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