Aethlon, Sarcoma Oncology Center to study hemopurifier in cancer patients

San Diego's Aethlon Medical is teaming up with the Sarcoma Oncology Center to study the effectiveness of the Aethlon Hemopurifier to remove immunosuppressive exosomes from the blood of advanced-stage cancer patients.  

Exosomes released by cancer have been implicated in cancer survival, growth and metastasis. However, there is no therapeutic drug candidate to combat these exosomes. But Aethlon has stepped in with its hemopurifier, which has broad-spectrum capabilities against viral pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis C virus. Also, it has shown it can capture exosomes from cell culture and human ascites fluids.  

The study will evaluate 25 patients, 5 of whom have metastatic cancer of the following types: non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer, and sarcoma. If the study proves successful, it could allow for the advancement of human studies of the hemopurifier as an adjunct therapy to improve patient responsiveness to established cancer therapies.

FierceMedicalDevices spoke with company CEO Jim Joyce recently, and he said the company is doing great things. Its leading technology, the ADAPT system, converges affinity drug agents and plasma membrane technology to create therapeutic filtration devices that help remove harmful particles from the circulatory system. It's already responded to an Army initiative on potential treatments of organ failure due to crush or burn injuries. And a panel of experts brought together by DARPA chose to fund a project involving the system to reduce the incidence of sepsis.

Joyce also believes the system could provide a less onerous commercialization pathway to affinity drug developers, something that would help small- and medium-size companies especially. He told FMD he's been having conversations about the technology and the unmet medical needs it can help address with interested drug companies. Joyce said he is very interested in creating collaborations with industry to get new products to market.

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