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Posted: February 19, 2009
Piercell Leaping into Therapeutics with its Biomolecular Delivery Device
(Nanowerk News) Piercell has announced the addition of Dr. Cyril Cohen to its scientific advisory board. Dr. Cohen, Head of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel is an immunotherapy expert with an experience in metastatic melanoma treatment from his post doctoral fellowship at the NIH. Piercell aims to integrate its innovative biomolecular delivery device with cell therapy protocols such as Dr. Cohen's.
"The close collaboration with Dr. Cohen is a validation of the strong need for our biomolecular delivery device in both the scientific as well as the cell therapy worlds," said Eran Bram, Piercell's chief scientific officer. He added "Dr. Cohen's confidence in our technology strengthens our vision of playing a key role in realizing the promise of cell therapy."
Dr. Cohen's research is part of a novel approach for the treatment of cancer using immunological cell therapy, namely genetically modifying immune system cells ex-vivo to specifically target and destroy cancer cells in the patient's body. This methodology was pioneered by Dr. Cohen's former mentor, the renowned Dr. Steven Rosenberg , Head of the Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute. More than 60 patients have been now treated using clinical experimental protocols based on the genetic modification of the immune system, leading to objective clinical responses that could reach up to 30% for the treatment of terminally ill melanoma patients.
Many aspects of this therapeutic strategy have to be improved and Dr. Cohen's current research at Bar-Ilan University is aimed at the exponential enhancement of this treatment's capabilities.
"There is a strong need for a robust transfection solution for primary and hard to transfect cells in biomedical research and clinical applications such as immunotherapy. Piercell's technology promises to satisfy this exact need" said Dr. Cyril Cohen. He added "My hope is to use Piercell's biomolecular delivery platform as a drug delivery device for administering DNA and RNA based therapeutics in the clinic."
Piercell is a nanotechnology venture that is developing a biomolecular delivery device that pierces into primary and other hard-to-transfect cells. Piercell's vision is to pave the path to cell therapy by enabling ex vivo DNA and RNA drug delivery into clinically relevant cells of patients.