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Electroporation Device Helps Treat Solid Tumors

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Apr 2021
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Image: TAVO and electroporation kill cancer cells (Photo courtesy of OMS)
Image: TAVO and electroporation kill cancer cells (Photo courtesy of OMS)
A novel device disrupts the membrane of cancer cells, significantly increasing uptake of anti-cancer agents.

The OncoSec Medical System (OMS; San Diego, CA, USA) OMS electroporation device is intended for use during chemotherapy and immunotherapy by opening pores within the membranes of target cancer cells, improving therapy effectiveness and reducing systemic toxicity. The electroporation platform consists of a generator that creates short-duration pulsed electrical fields which are delivered via a hand-held applicator at a specific voltage through a series of thin electrode needles. The generator and applicator create a rotating array of pulses that uniformly subject the targeted cell membranes to electroporation.

The electroporation enables delivery of tavokinogene telseplasmid (TAVO) directly into the tumor microenvironment, producing a controlled, localized expression of interleukin-12 (IL-12), a naturally occurring pro-inflammatory cytokine that promotes T-cells and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) recruitment, enhancing response to the immune checkpoint PD-1 and converting anti-PD-1 non-responders to responders. In addition to drug delivery, the platform also supports the GenPulse gene electrotransfer device. The electric fields are inert, and dissipate once the electroporation is stopped.

“We are confident that our gene electrotransfer technology will emerge as a preferred choice for therapeutic gene delivery in patients with advanced cancer for whom currently available treatment options have little or no effect,” said Daniel O'Connor, CEO of OncoSec. “The efficiency at which gene electrotransfer delivers therapy, along with a highly favorable safety profile and ease of use, make it an ideal choice for drug delivery.”

Results from recently completed clinical studies of TAVO have demonstrated a local immune response, and subsequently, a systemic effect as either a monotherapy or combination treatment approach along with an acceptable safety profile. In addition to TAVO, OncoSec is identifying and developing new DNA-encoded therapeutic candidates and tumor indications for use with its Visceral Lesion Applicator (VLA), designed to target deep visceral lesions, such as liver, lung, or pancreatic lesions.

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