Azaya Therapeutics Inc. licenced a technology, which could be beneficial to treat neck and head cancers, said the company on Wednesday. The technology requires the use of liposomes in delivering the radiation into the neck and head tumours via a direct injection. The officials of the company said that they may able to shrink the tumour, avoid collateral tissue damage, and delay recurrence that frequently accompanies other forms of radiation therapy.

Liposomes are tiny, bubble-like particles, which are made of the same material like in cell membranes. The pharmaceutical industry engineered liposomes decades ago. The company plans to start its phase I clinical trial this early 2010. It licences the technology from the University of Texas Health Science Centre in San Antonio, Texas. Scientists were developing the radiation-infused liposome technology for about six years. Michael T. Dwyer, CEO and president of Azaya, said that it is a good collaborative opportunity for the university as well as for the company.

“They have more than 15 years of expertise working with liposomes and a patent-pending method of using them to deliver radiation to a very specific tumour location”, says Dwyer. “And Azaya has a patented system for producing liposomes quickly and efficiently”, he added. Dwyer also said that the treatment has the potential to address other forms of cancer, such as brain, breast, and prostate cancer.

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