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BTX DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM SHOWS PROMISE TREATING INCURABLE BRAIN TUMORS

 SAN DIEGO, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Lois Crandell, president and chief executive officer of BTX Inc., announced the significant improvement in survival of rats experimentally treated by BTX-affiliated scientists using the technique of electroporation to deliver a cytotoxic drug, bleomycin, to animals with gliomas implanted in one hemisphere of the brain. Electroporation is a technique of physically introducing drugs or DNA into cells via pulsed electric fields. The researchers -- Drs. Brun and Salford of the Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden and Dr. Mir of the Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France, who is a member of the BTX Scientific Advisory Board -- presented a paper "In-Vivo Electroporation -- a New Tool in the Treatment of Malignant Brain Tumors" during the 11th symposium of the International Bioelectrochemical Society (BES) held in Bielefeld, Germany, April 5-9, 1993. BTX co-sponsored the "Electroporation in Medicine" session -- the first of its kind. Six researchers associated with BTX presented papers on Electroporetic(TM) drug delivery techniques for the treatment of various cancers as well as for restenosis, the reocclusion of coronary arteries after angioplasty.
 In the brain tumor study, rats were injected with bleomycin four minutes before electroporation (eight pulses, 800 V/cm) at different time intervals after the implantation of the tumor cells and the effect upon survival was studied. In their paper, the researchers concluded that "... electroporation in combination with the systemic administration of bleomycin has significant effect upon the survival of rats with RG2 gliomas implanted in the brain. The mechanism of electroporation is to allow the cytotoxic drug to penetrate the cell membranes and to damage the DNA of the dividing cells which thereby spread their content into the surrounding tissue where the immune response is alerted. The possibility to enhance this effect with immunotherapy such as local delivery of Interleukin 2 is of utmost interest and we are in the process of starting such studies. The possibility that a potent therapy against the hitherto incurable malignant brain tumors may be developed along with these lines is a fascinating challenge both to the neurosurgeon and the oncological scientist."
 Also, at the 1993 BES XI Symposium, Dr. Hofmann, BTX chairman and chief scientific officer, presented a paper entitled "Electric Field Generation for Electrochemotherapy(TM)." Mir, who conducted the first human clincial trial using Electochemotherapy, (the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents via electroporation) for the treatment of head and neck cancer patients, also presented further progress in this area. BTX expects to enter clinical trials using Electrochemotherapy for advanced melanoma within the year.
 BTX is regarded as the pioneer and technological leader in the broad, enabling technology of Electroporation. Founded in 1983, BTX has successfully introduced 16 electroporation-related products for in-vitro use in the research laboratory. The company is currently developing and testing drug delivery systems for treating certain cancers and preventing restenosis. BTX drug and gene delivery systems will ultimately provide broadly effective methods of treating cancer, heart disease, and will eventually contribute to combating genetic diseases.
 -0- 4/22/93
 /CONTACT: Christie S. Featherstone, director, Communications, of Lois J. Crandell, president and CEO of BTX, 800-289-2465 or 619-597-6006/


CO: BTX Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

EH -- SD006 -- 9585 04/22/93 14:46 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1993
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