MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Precision Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:AIPT) (“Precision” or “the Company”), formerly Skyline Medical (NASDAQ:SKLN), a company focused on applying artificial intelligence to personalized medicine and drug discovery, announced today it has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, TumorGenesis Inc., to develop the next generation or patient derived (“PDx”) tumor models for precision cancer therapy and drug development.
The Company formed TumorGenesis Inc. to develop a new, rapid approach to growing tumors in the laboratory, which essentially “fools” the cancer cells into thinking they are still growing inside the patient. This approach will provide a much more relevant model of the patient tumor that may be used for testing of drugs for personalized therapy or for the development of new drugs. Testing of the TumorGenesis PDx tumors will take place in collaboration with Helomics, in which Precision has a 20% equity stake. The Company is currently in negotiations with several medical technology companies to license their technology to advance TumorGenesis’s strategic plan and expects to announce these potential agreements in the near future.
Unlike the current PDx animal models that grow the tumor in a mouse or rat, the TumorGenesis approach is faster, less costly and more closely mimics the characteristics of the patient’s tumor. The PDx models using mice are also limited in the number of combinations of dosing, drug combinations, and cost. Furthermore, the jury is still out on how useful it is to grow tumor cells in a mouse or rat environment. In contrast, TumorGenesis offers an external structured environment combining chemistry, biology, mechanics and cell nutrients to fool the cancer cells into growing as closely as possible to the environment inside the human body.
TumorGenesis’ innovative approach is comprised of three key steps; first, the tumor cells from the patient tumor biopsy are tagged using peptides targeted to the patient’s specific cancer cells (e.g. ovarian); second, the tags are used to adhere the cells to a 3D biomimetic support in the well of a standard 96 well microplate; and third, the tumor cells are grown in the 3D culture system until ready for testing.
Dr. Carl Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of Precision Therapeutics, commented, “The TumorGenesis PDx model forms a key part of our strategy to build out our Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based healthcare business. Testing of patient tumors using this brand new approach will a) provide a personalized therapy protocol for a patient, b) provide high-quality data for Helomics’s D-CHIP AI platform and c) drive partnerships with Pharma companies for the development of new therapies.”
“Traditional PDx mouse models are currently used for personalized therapy decisions and by pharma companies for developing new drugs within a cancer drug market expected to be worth approximately $150 billion in the U.S. alone. Our plans to develop a new, faster approach to growing tumors in the laboratory would represent a major advancement compared with the technology that is already on the market and propel us to the forefront of this revolutionary industry,” concluded Dr. Schwartz.
The TumorGenesis PDx model will initially be developed for three orphan cancers, Multiple Myeloma, Triple-Negative Breast cancer (TNBC) and Ovarian cancers, all of which are areas that have a high unmet need for new and effective treatments that are tailored to patients’ unique tumor profiles.
About Precision Therapeutics Inc.
Precision Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AIPT) operates in two business areas: first, applying artificial intelligence to personalized medicine and drug discovery to provide personalized medicine solutions for clients in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotech industries, and second, production of the FDA-approved STREAMWAY® System for automated, direct-to-drain medical fluid disposal.
Precision Therapeutics’ CRO services business is committed to improving the effectiveness of cancer therapy using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) applied to rich data diseases databases. This business has launched with Precision Therapeutics’ investment in Helomics Corporation, a precision diagnostic company and integrated clinical contract research organization whose mission is to improve patient care by partnering with pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and academic organizations to bring innovative clinical products and technologies to the marketplace. In addition to its proprietary precision diagnostics for oncology, Helomics offers boutique CRO services that leverage our patient-derived tumor models, coupled to a wide range of multi-omics assays (genomics, proteomics and biochemical), and a proprietary bioinformatics platform (D-CHIP) to provide a tailored solution to our client’s specific needs. Helomics is 20% owned by Precision Therapeutics. Helomics® is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where the company maintains state-of-the-art, CLIA-certified, clinical and research laboratories. For more information, please visit www.Helomics.com. Precision Therapeutics and Helomics have also announced a proposed joint venture with GLG Pharma focused on using their combined technologies to bring personalized medicines and testing to ovarian and breast cancer patients, especially those who present with ascites fluid (over one-third of patients). The growth strategy in this business includes securing new partnerships and considering acquisitions in the precision medicine space.
Sold through the Skyline Medical business of Precision Therapeutics, The STREAMWAY System virtually eliminates staff exposure to blood, irrigation fluid and other potentially infectious fluids found in the healthcare environment. Antiquated manual fluid handling methods that require hand carrying and emptying filled fluid canisters present an exposure risk and potential liability. Skyline Medical’s STREAMWAY System fully automates the collection, measurement, and disposal of waste fluids and is designed to: 1) reduce overhead costs to hospitals and surgical centers; 2) improve compliance with OSHA and other regulatory agency safety guidelines; 3) improve efficiency in the operating room, and radiology and endoscopy departments, thereby leading to greater profitability; and 4) provide greater environmental stewardship by helping to eliminate the approximately 50 million potentially disease-infected canisters that go into landfills each year in the U.S. For additional information, please visit www.skylinemedical.com.
Certain of the matters discussed in this announcement contain forward-looking statements that involve material risks to and uncertainties in the Company’s business that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements made herein. Such risks and uncertainties include risks related to the proposed joint ventures, including the need to negotiate the definitive agreements for the joint ventures; possible failure to realize anticipated benefits of the joint ventures; and costs of providing funding to the joint ventures. Other risks and uncertainties relating to the Company include, among other things, current negative operating cash flows and a need for additional funding to finance our operating plan; the terms of any further financing, which may be highly dilutive and may include onerous terms; unexpected costs and operating deficits, and lower than expected sales and revenues; sales cycles that can be longer than expected, resulting in delays in projected sales or failure to make such sales; uncertain willingness and ability of customers to adopt new technologies and other factors that may affect further market acceptance, if our product is not accepted by our potential customers, it is unlikely that we will ever become profitable; adverse economic conditions; adverse results of any legal proceedings; the volatility of our operating results and financial condition; inability to attract or retain qualified senior management personnel, including sales and marketing personnel; our ability to establish and maintain the proprietary nature of our technology through the patent process, as well as our ability to possibly license from others patents and patent applications necessary to develop products; the Company’s ability to implement its long range business plan for various applications of its technology; the Company’s ability to enter into agreements with any necessary marketing and/or distribution partners and with any strategic or joint venture partners; the impact of competition, the obtaining and maintenance of any necessary regulatory clearances applicable to applications of the Company’s technology; and management of growth and other risks and uncertainties that may be detailed from time to time in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available for review at www.sec.gov. This is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities and does not purport to be an analysis of the Company’s financial position. See the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and subsequent reports and other filings at www.sec.gov.