PharmaCyte Biotech achieves bioengineering of cell line for cannabis program to treat cancers

harmaCyte Biotech Inc., a California-based biotechnology company focused on developing targeted cellular therapies for cancer and diabetes using its live-cell encapsulation technology, Cell-in-a-Box, has announced that its research partner, the University of Northern Colorado, has bioengineered a human cell line designed to activate a cannabinoid prodrug in its quest to develop a Cell-in-a-Box/cannabinoid therapy for serious forms of cancer, particularly brain cancer.


Mark L. Rabe, PharmaCyte’s Director of Cannabis Program Development, commenting on the bioengineered cell line said, “We now have a cell line into which the gene for a putative cannabinoid prodrug-activating enzyme has been ‘transfected’ or inserted into the cell’s DNA. The gene was synthesized de novo using knowledge of the underlying genetic code of the cell. The cell line is the same human cell line that will be used in PharmaCyte’s planned clinical trial in locally advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer (LAPC).”


“The next step is to test the efficiency of the transfected cells in converting cannabinoid prodrugs into their active cancer-fighting forms. If the cells are suitably active, they would then be propagated to the point that they can then be encapsulated using the Cell-in-a-Box technology. Also, we will continue our analysis of other genes of interest that could be used in a similar way.”


The current objective of PharmaCyte’s Cannabis Program is to develop targeted cannabinoid-based chemotherapy by bioengineering a cell line that produces a cannabinoid prodrug-activating enzyme, encapsulating this cell line utilizing the Cell-in-a-Box platform and implanting the encapsulated cells near the site of a tumor. A cannabinoid prodrug would then be administered and activated at the site of the tumor where its anti-cancer effects are needed. PharmaCyte’s research conducted by the University of Northern Colorado has confirmed that a cannabis-based approach may prove to be efficacious in the treatment of several different types of cancers.


PharmaCyte Biotech’s research partner University of Northern Colorado has bioengineered a human cell line designed to activate a cannabinoid prodrug.

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