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Nuvilex, Inc. Engaged in “Cutting Edge” Cannabis Preclinical Studies Using Model Compounds With Cell-in-a-Box

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – October 29, 2014) – Nuvilex, Inc. (NVLX) isn’t letting the upcoming mid-term elections or the views in Washington, D.C., on medical marijuana slow down its research. The company is currently engaged in preclinical studies at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) targeting Cannabis-based cancer treatments using Nuvilex’s Cell-in-a-Box®cellulose-based live cell encapsulation technology.

While waiting for a Schedule 1 license from the DEA in order to conduct research using marijuana, Dr. Richard M. Hyslop, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UNC, along with his colleague Dr. Corina Brown are conducting these preclinical studies using model compounds that are similar chemically to the components they are looking for in Cannabis.

Dr. Hyslop said in an interview with the Biz West Newspaper in Northern Colorado, that the idea is to use the model compounds to screen live cells in an effort to find those cells that can eventually be encapsulated. “The type of cell that we’re going to incorporate is going to have a particular type of activity that is capable of converting a component of Cannabis to an active anti-cancer drug. What the research involves is identifying the type of cell that is capable of doing that.”

The goal behind this research is to eventually create a treatment for “solid” tumors using constituents (cannabinoids) of the Cannabis plant and the company’s live-cell encapsulation technology, Cell-in-a-Box. Initially, Nuvilex will target solid tumors of the brain and pancreas.

Dr. Hyslop has been involved in cancer research for more than 35 years and is leading a team of scientists from UNC in what Nuvilex’s CEO calls “cutting edge” research on behalf of the company. Dr. Hyslop, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Nuvilex’s subsidiary, Medical Marijuana Sciences, is the latest in the biotechnology arena to be impressed by Nuvilex’s Cell-in-a-Box and the role it can play in targeted therapies.

The Cell-in-a-Box technology offers a way to encapsulate live cells capable of converting anticancer prodrugs (those that require metabolic conversion into their cancer-killing forms in order to be effective) in protective, pin-head-sized cocoons.

Nuvilex is using the technology for its treatment for advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer which combines Cell-in-a-Box and the well-known anticancer prodrug ifosfamide. The company is preparing for late-phase clinical trials using its treatment in early 2015, but it is also using the same treatment in what the company hopes will be groundbreaking preclinical studies to treat the symptoms associated with abdominal cancers, namely slowing the accumulation of malignant ascites fluid common with these cancers, and treating the unbearable pain associated with abdominal cancers.

Drs. Hyslop and Brown will develop cancer treatments that combine the Cell-in-a-Box technology with cannabinoid prodrugs instead of ifosfamide. Their efforts to understand the chemical and biochemical processes involved in the interaction of substances derived from a sustainable plant source, such as Cannabis, with sustainable live cell encapsulation (Cell-in-a-Box) provides the opportunity to develop what Nuvilex is calling a “green” approach to treating cancers like pancreatic, brain, breast, and prostate cancer that affect hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide each year.

For thousands of years, Cannabis has provided a sustainable source of fiber, food, energy and medicine. The Cannabis plant’s cannabinoid constituents, with the most recognized of these being tetrahdyrocannabinol and cannabidiol, have been documented to possess broad anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, nerve-protecting and anticancer properties as well as other therapeutic applications.

Watch Dr. Hyslop’s interview with Biz West discussing Cell-in-a-Box® and preclinical studies at UNC:

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