Larry Lamb discusses losing his brother to cancer
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Since its discovery by the Kitasato Institute in Tokyo, Ivermectin has been used to treat some of the world’s most persistent tropical diseases including onchocerciasis, helminthiases, and scabies. The microorganism which is native to Japanese soil has been hailed as a wonder drug by scientists but was constantly let down by poor solubility – its ability to be turned into a liquid.
Despite hopes being raised about its cancer fighting abilities, difficulties to inject it into patients rendered effective research into this impossible for decades.
Now scientists at Canada-based pharmaceutical company Mountain Valley MD claim to have found a way to dissolve the drug into a substance they are calling Ivectosol.
They have said this has opened up the possibility of using the drug in combination with existing checkpoint inhibitors to target cancer cells more effectively.
Checkpoint inhibitors are a class of drugs that work to help the human immune system detect and eradicate cancerous cells.
But to date, they’ve had limited success because of cancerous cells’ unique ability to camouflage themselves as healthy cells.
Ivermectin could help boost those inhibitors’ ability to detect cancer cells by reducing their success at hiding from the body’s immune system in concert with conventional checkpoint inhibitors.
Early testing has already proved promising, with Ivermectin improving the performance of cancer-fighting checkpoint inhibitors from 5% up to over 40%.
According to Mountain Valley MD, Ivermectin could kick start the death of cancerous cells when injected directly into a tumour.
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The death of these cells then alerts the body’s immune system to recognise them as a threat and triggers a powerful immune response against the cancer.
While the results are preliminary, Mountain Valley believes their new drug, Ivectosol, could be a “true game-changer” in cancer therapies.
“Imagine what is possible when you have the world’s only human injectable form that can be directly injected into a tumor or administered intravenously. We believe these routes of administration will apply to numerous aggressive cancers.” Mike Farber, Director of Life Sciences at Mountain Valley MD.
They claim it could be especially effective against some of the most invasive and aggressive forms of cancer.
For example, in triple-negative Breast Cancer, only 20 percent of tumours are recognised by today’s best checkpoint inhibitors.
The firm has already green-lit three separate pre-clinical trials to continue to study its use as a cancer treatment.
The trials aim to put the drug up against some of the world’s hardest to treat cancers including triple-negative breast cancer, metastatic melanoma, and non-small cell lung carcinoma.
And because Ivermectin is already so well-understood, Mountain Valley MD hopes they’ll be able to bring their new product to market far faster than would otherwise be possible.
In the US, they’ve applied to the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) for approval.
If approved this could potentially mean that Ivectosol would be ready for consideration for human applications by early 2022 in the US.
And because the US market is considered the benchmark for much of the rest of the world, global approvals would follow soon thereafter.
Mountain Valley MD has already applied for patent protection for the proprietary solubility technology that powers the drug.
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