Written by ι Stock Market Media Group Staff — November 19, 2013
Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB: NVLX) recently acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to a proprietary cellulose-based live-cell encapsulation technology for developing treatments for all types of cancer, most notably pancreatic cancer. This acquisition should put the company and cell encapsulation-based therapies on the map if its future Phase 3 clinical trials in patients with advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer produce similar data to that seen in two separate early-phase trials in this disease.
But, Nuvilex didn’t stop there. Executives then went out and raised enough capital at a price above the current share price to purchase the same exclusive worldwide rights to the cellulose-based live-cell encapsulation technology for the development of treatments for diabetes. When all is said and done, it is the diabetes acquisition that could make Nuvilex a household name.
While the company’s future Phase 3 clinical trials in pancreatic cancer should bring lots of attention to Nuvilex, particularly if they produce a treatment that beats the current “gold standard” in Celgene’s Abraxane, it can also be viewed that success with the pancreatic cancer trials would be full validation that this live-cell encapsulation technology works in treating major diseases. These trials should prove dramatic for the small Silver Spring, Maryland, biotech, and in the process set the table for what could be a blockbuster diabetes treatment.
One look at the growing number of diabetics around the world, and it’s clear that diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. The International Diabetes Federation recently reported it expects the number of diabetics to climb to 592 million by 2035 if “urgent action” isn’t taken – worse yet, those numbers are estimated to grow to 1 in every 3 people by 2050 at the current pace.
It is these staggering numbers, and what the cellulose-based live-cell encapsulation technology has already proven it’s capable of, that could move the company to the head of the class when it comes to a breakthrough treatment for diabetes.
Nuvilex executives said their decision to make the acquisition stems, in large part, from the results of “proof-of-principle” studies in which cells that produce insulin were transplanted into diabetic animals. The diabetic animals had much higher than normal levels of glucose in their bloodstream and had a difficult time controlling their glucose levels, just as humans with diabetes do.
In animals provided with the encapsulated cells, their blood glucose levels normalized and remained stable for the duration of one six-month study, indicating the encapsulated cells produced insulin in response to their higher than normal blood glucose levels. The cellulose-based capsules seem to have prevented the encapsulated cells from being attacked by the diabetic animals’ immune systems, even in the absence of immunosuppressive drugs. Therefore, the encapsulated cells appear to have acted as an artificial or replacement pancreas.
This treatment could answer the International Diabetes Federation call for “urgent action” giving it priority status among other biotech firms looking to fill their pipelines. Why is that crucial to these companies? Well, not only are the numbers of diabetics growing, so too are the dollars being spent on the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, in the U.S. alone, $176 billion is spent annually on medical costs associated with diabetes with over $22 billion of that being spent on treatments for the disease. By 2018, the annual market for diabetes medicines alone is projected to reach $114 billion worldwide.
So, you can bet that there are plenty of firms that will be keeping a close eye on any studies and any future clinical trials Nuvilex conducts in diabetes as a consequence of the new acquisition of the rights to use the cellulose-based live-cell encapsulation technology in developing treatments for this disease. The company could very well control a nice piece of the pie and that will not go unnoticed.