8th June 2021
By Emily Ledger
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Joint testing has revealed the combined medical cannabis and medicinal mushroom formulations of two pharmaceutical companies may be effective in killing breast cancer cells that were grown in 3D cell culture models.

UK-based international pharmaceutical company, Apollon Formularies plc, and Canadian Aion Therapeutics made the announcement after joint testing revealed that their combined formulation was effective via three separate mechanisms: direct cell cytotoxicity, immune stimulated T-cell cytotoxicity, and macrophage induced phagocytosis.

The testing was performed by BIOENSIS, an independent, pre-clinical predictive pharmaceutical testing laboratory, with medical cannabis formulations developed by Apollon’s affiliate, Apollon Formularies Jamaica Ltd and medicinal mushroom formulations developed by AI Pharmaceuticals Jamaica Ltd.

In a press release, CEO of Apollon, Stephen D. Barnhimm, commented: “Cannabinoids have been seen to exert ‘antitumor’ effects by a number of different means, including killing cancer cells directly as well as inhibiting transformed cell growth and tumour metastasis.

“Apollon Jamaica, using results from its proprietary artificial intelligence-based analysis on strain genetics, has cultivated and processed certain of its proprietary medical cannabis products with cancer treatment expressly in mind. We are excited that our formulations have been validated via independent laboratory testing to kill HER2+ breast cancer cells in 3D cell culture through direct cytotoxicity.”

Testing revealed that Apollon jamaica’s medical cannabis formulations were particularly effective in killing living HER2+ cancer cells (cytotoxicity). In comparison, Aion’s medicinal mushroom formulations were able to stimulate the immune system’s T-cell production to attack and kill HER2+ cancer cells and through macrophage-induced phagocytosis.

Dr. Herbert A. Fritsche, Chief Science Officer of Aion and former Professor and Director of Clinical Chemistry at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, stated: “Our recent medicinal mushroom formulation testing demonstrated that two formulations, AION F7 and AION F8, when used together, showed high efficacy in killing HER2+ breast cancer cells via immune stimulated cytotoxicity by T-cells and macrophages.

“This result suggests that these Aion medicinal mushroom formulations have a similar effectiveness as Trastuzumab (Herceptin, Roche), a monoclonal antibody treatment.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and accounts for the most cancer-related deaths, globally. Furthermore, HER2+ constitutes approximately 20% of all breast cancers Therefore, the researchers involved in these tests are hopeful that these findings could be significant in the development of future treatments.

Paul Burke, Chairman and CEO of Apollon Jamaica, also stated in a press release: “The combined formulations of Apollon and Aion are expected to be comparatively inexpensive, providing an opportunity for all women to have their breast cancer treated.

“I look forward to collaborating with Aion with regard to our shared vision to bring these formulations to market as quickly as possible and in a manner that allows all Jamaican women with HER2+ breast cancer, as well as, women travelling from international locations to Jamaica as medical tourists for our treatment, to have access to quality care.”

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