OncoSil Medical (ASX: OSL) shares should trade higher today after revealing a development program for its next generation localised radiation technology for the treatment of solid tumours.
The OncoCal treatment involves the injection of radioactive phosphorus directly into the tumour mass.
It represents an innovation in the delivery of safer, localised radiation therapy, and will complement OncoSil™, the company's lead product, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
A new patent has been filed and is currently being processed to cover major commercial jurisdictions.
OncoSil chief scientific officer Dr Peter Knox remarked: "OncoCal represents an exciting innovation in the delivery of safer local radiation therapy for solid tumours, and further highlights our commitment to the therapeutic potential of the isotope phosphorus-32.
"As an injectable liquid, it has ease of administration while still providing the benefit of local and safer radiation therapy to tumours."
"We are continually looking at ways to expand our portfolio of safer local radiation therapies for tumours, based on the success of our OncoSil™ technology, and we look forward to progressing the development of OncoCal in conjunction with the upcoming clinical trial of OncoSil™ in the year ahead," chief executive officer Dr Neil Frazer, added.
How OncoCal works
The OncoCal treatment is injected directly into the tumour, where it emits beta radiation locally for around three months.
The product differs from OncoSil™ in that when it is injected, it forms an insoluble and immobile salt in combination with interstitial fluid, thus remaining in the precise position it was injected.
This results in an even more targeted and localised action against cancerous cells, due to reduced "leakage".
On top of this benefit, OncoCal's viscosity, or thickness, is low, allowing doctors to use finer needles for its delivery into the patient's tumour, thus reducing patient trauma.
OncoCal's relative "thinness" should also allow for a more even distribution throughout the tumour volume, due to the smaller gauge needles required.
The production of OncoCal is expected to use a similar reactor time to OncoSil, but is likely to generate more radioactive phosphorus, delivering a cost saving to the company.
More significantly, the volume of material to be utilised in an OncoCal treatment is expected to be smaller, and processing expected to be simpler.
The starting material is low cost and readily available.
Once out of the reactor, which transforms the substance into radioactive material, it is diluted with phosphate and dispensed.
The key idea with OncoSil's localised radiation technology is to protect healthy cells from the devastating side effects of traditional radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which cause damage throughout the body.
This will reduce, and possible eliminate, some of the dreaded side effects such as hair loss, severe fatigue, and skin problems.
OncoSil's localised technology for delivery of "liquid radiation" is potentially a game changer for cancer treatment globally.
And now with its next generation product OncoCal, OSL has two treatments at different stages of development, both moving towards commercialisation.
Cancer treatment using OSL's technology would be simpler, cheaper, faster and less traumatic for patients than existing radiotherapy.
Both OncoSil and OncoCal may be used in conjunction with existing cancer treatments; they are not mutually exclusive.
Indeed, they have the potential to synergistically complement traditional cancer therapy.
On preliminary analysis, Proactive Investors anticipates a valuation for OSL of between $0.20-$0.30, within six to nine months.
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