PCI Biotech AS
PCI Biotech – unlocking the potential of innovative medicines
PCI Biotech is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing products based on its patented photochemical internalization (PCI) platform technology. PCI is a triggered endosomal release technology.
PCI can enhance intracellular delivery of molecules that are taken into the cell by endocytosis. This includes most types of macromolecules, drugs carried by antibodies or nanoparticles, and some small molecule drugs.
The PCI technology is also a versatile and innovative immune-potentiator platform for vaccination, which may specifically increase the cytotoxic T-cell response of vaccines. This is especially important in therapeutic vaccination, when the immune system needs to recognise and destroy diseased cells (e.g. virus infected cells and cancer).
PCI Biotech follows a dual strategy to create value by realizing both the large potential of innovative therapeutics and the untapped potential of existing cancer drugs.
Technology and Current Research
Photochemical internalisation (PCI) is a proprietary triggered endosomal release technology with an array of potential clinical applications. PCI is based on proprietary photoactive substances that specifically localise to endosomal membranes and upon activation destabilise the endosomal membrane, efficiently releasing its content into the cytosol. The technology can be used for effective targeted intracellular delivery of a range of substances, from gene therapy and proteins to certain small molecules.
PCI Biotech has completed a phase I study with its lead candidate Amphinex® in combination with the cytotoxic bleomycin, demonstrating that it is well tolerated and provide a strong tumour response. Amphinex® is further developed in two clinical programs: a phase II study in recurrent head & neck cancer in combination with bleomycin and a phase I/II study in patients with inoperable bile duct cancer in combination with gemcitabine.
Solid preclinical data has been produced showing that PCI can be used as an immune-enhancing technology that significantly increases antigen specific Killer T-cell responses. Vaccination with protein or peptide antigens often fails to generate the cytotoxic responses needed for successful therapeutic vaccination. Antigens typically enter antigen-presenting immune cells through endocytosis and PCI may be utilised to reroute these antigens to the immunisation machinery responsible for the cytotoxic immune response; through MHC class-I-restricted antigen presentation.
Partnership and Alliance Strategy
Strategic alliance and partnerships are an integral part of PCI Biotech’s corporate strategy. The two lead programs in clinical development target two high unmet need indications for which treatment options are limited: head and neck and bile duct cancer. The company is also seeking immediate opportunities to leverage the immune-potentiator technology for a wide range of vaccines, therapeutic and prophylactic, in vivo and ex vivo. The lead product can also be licensed to develop fixed-dose combination therapies with ADCs, siRNA, and other macromolecules in diseases where the pathology is well localized, including numerous cancer, dermatology and ophthalmology indications.