ProtoKinetix, Incorporated (www.protokinetix.com) (the “Company” or “ProtoKinetix”) (OTCQB:PKTX) is pleased to provide a scientific update on immune cell banking and functions relevant to immunotherapy using AAGP® in collaboration with Proactive Immune Sciences. Earlier in 2017, Proactive initiated a research program which utilized an anti-aging glycopeptide (AAGP®) produced by ProtoKinetix Inc. which, amongst other uses, has shown the potential to benefit various cells during cryopreservation. In this research program, Proactive is investigating whether the AAGP® produced by ProtoKinetix Inc. improves survival and function of cryopreserved immune cells by focusing on the following objective:
1) Assessment of the effect of AAGP® on cryopreserved immune cell viability and functionality.
Immune based interventions represent one of the fastest growing, most promising areas of personalized medicine. This is particularly true for cancer, which is largely a disease of immune failure. Therefore, there is a strong impetus for individuals to bank healthy immune cells at as early an age as possible, before these cells are compromised by infection, malignancy, or simply advanced immunological age. Proactive Immune Sciences Corporation will collect and cryopreserve all of the different types of immune cells present in blood for its clients. These cells can be used later for any form of immunotherapy the client might require. These cells can also be used for immune system regeneration to help restore an immune system that is compromised from chemotherapy or radiation treatments or even old age. Although cryopreservation of cells is commonly performed, Proactive would like to offer its clients the most advanced methods to ensure their cells are in optimal conditions for the processing required for these immunotherapies.
In May 2017, Proactive, with the support of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) through an Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Grant, began testing AAGP® in the cryopreservation process used to store Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC). Cells were frozen using Proactive’s cryopreservation “cocktail” along with various concentrations of AAGP®.
A combination of Proactive’s cryopreservation “cocktail” and AAGP® resulted in a 45% increase in viability of PBMCs over that of Proactive’s cryopreservation “cocktail” alone. When T and B cells were isolated from the frozen PBMCs post-thaw, both cell types displayed greater viability as well. These positive results were repeated with JURKAT cells, a T cell line used for research.
These findings have significance for immune cell based therapies. A 45% increase in the viability of PBMCs through the freezing process will result is significantly more cells being available should they be needed later for immune system reconstitution, requiring far less blood to be drawn. For patients, whose immune systems have been compromised from chemotherapy and/or radiation therapies, it could mean that they would now be able to participate in immune based therapies for which they previously could not provide enough viable cells.
Improved viability of T and B cells in the presence of Proactive’s cryopreservation “cocktail” and AAGP® may provide a better starting material for the processing involved in several cellular therapies in development or recent approval such as CAR-T therapy for cancer.
The next phase of our research will explore the impact of Proactive’s cryopreservation “cocktail” and AAGP® on functions of the immune cells pertinent to these developing cellular therapies.
About Proactive Immune Sciences
Proactive stores (banks) immune cells, while people are healthy, for them to use later in life should they contract cancer or have other immune system related diseases.
Having the rights to AAGP® for immune cell cryopreservation enables Proactive to establish a unique foothold in the cell banking market and to provide services to other organizations that use frozen immune cells in their therapeutic processes.
About ProtoKinetix, Incorporated
ProtoKinetix is a molecular biotechnology company that has developed and patented a family of hyper stable, potent glycopeptides (AAGP®) that enhance both engraftment and protection of transplanted cells used in regenerative medicine. Due to the results achieved over the last four years of testing, the University of Alberta has begun Phase 1 human clinical trials at the University of Alberta. Additional studies will be expanded to include whole organ transplantation and other cell therapies used in regenerative medicine.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The information discussed in this press release includes “forward looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein concerning, among other things, planned capital expenditures, future cash flows and borrowings, pursuit of potential acquisition opportunities, our financial position, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations, are forward looking statements. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “may,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “intend,” “achievable,” “anticipate,” “will,” “continue,” “potential,” “should,” “could,” and similar terms and phrases. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, they do involve certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties and are not (and should not be considered to be) guarantees of future performance. Among these risks are those set forth in a Form 10-K filed on February 21, 2017. It is important that each person reviewing this release understand the significant risks attendant to the operations of ProtoKinetix. ProtoKinetix disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement made here.
For further information, please contact:
Clarence E. Smith
President and Chief Executive Officer