01 Jul NexPlasmaGen completed an investment phase to accelerate the development of its cold plasma technology for breast cancer treatment
NexPlasmaGen Inc. is pleased to announce the completion of $795,000 in private and public investment from individuals, Aligo Innovation, the Quebec MEDTEQ program and the federal MITACS and CNRC-IRAP programs to accelerate the development of its patented cold plasma technology, the APGDT, as an adjuvant to radiotherapy against breast cancer.
Several researchers across the world have observed a potential selectivity of cold plasma in killing of cancer cells. Cold plasma’s effect against cancer tumors has also been demonstrated in mouse models. NexPlasmaGen’s technology is unique since it can produce locally and with precision a predetermined mixture of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.
Preclinical evaluations are underway since May 2018, including in vitro tests on 3D tumor models and mice to assess the selectivity of the plasma treatment against a dozen breast cancer cell lines. The project is led by Dr. Philip Wong from the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Université de Montréal Hospital Research Centre (CR-CHUM). Dr. Wong is a clinician-scientist funded by the Fonds de Recherche Santé Québec (FRQS) with a program aiming the development of novel translational strategies to improve radiotherapy. His group will determine if the APGDT technology enhances the effectiveness of radiotherapy against breast cancer, and how the addition of cold plasma to the standard of care reduces radiotherapy doses and thus side effects. Dr. Thierry Muanza, a leading Canadian translational researcher in breast cancer at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, will provide support to Dr. Wong to elucidate the mechanisms of action of the cold plasma combined with radiotherapy.
“Although many publications suggested that cold plasma could induce cancer cell deaths, its practical use and efficacy have not been convincingly proven. The NexPlasmaGen’s system design can help elucidate the plasma parameters that may best be used in combination with radiotherapy, a treatment that also seeks to produce reactive oxygen species in cancer cells” said Dr. Wong.
NexPlasmaGen’s core technology originated from the PhD work of the CEO, Dr. Valérie Léveillé, and continues to be developed in collaboration with Dr. Sylvain Coulombe of the Plasma Processing Laboratory (PPL) at McGill University. The Engineering team added an industrial designer to develop the 4th generation of the APGDT. This prototype will incorporate several design aspects required in a clinical setup. Dr. Coulombe is a worldwide leading Plasma Engineer, who has developed numerous plasma sources and processes. He is a co-inventor of the APGDT.
“It is exciting to think that in a year from now, we could have significant results from 3D cancer tumor models and a 4th generation device built and ready for testing on mice”, said Dr. Valérie Léveillé, President of NexPlasmaGen Inc, who is contributing efforts to the preclinical trials as well.
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