biOasis Technologies Inc. has developed and is now commercializing the ground-breaking Transcend Platform for the delivery of therapeutic compounds across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and into the Central Nervous System (CNS) for the treatment of neurological diseases.
The delivery of therapeutics across the BBB has been the single greatest challenge in the treatment of hundreds of common and rare neurological diseases, including brain cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic disorders. For decades the development of an effective, universal carrier for the delivery of therapeutics across the BBB has been considered to be the “Holy Grail” of neurological medicine, the discovery of which would have enormous commercial value for the pharmaceutical industry.
Discovery and Development of The Transcend Platform
The Transcend Platform consists of a diverse suite of peptide carriers and linkers that biOasis believes will provide the pharmaceutical industry with a natural transport solution to the Central Nervous System for a host of therapeutics including monoclonal antibodies, enzymes, small molecules and various types of gene therapies.
The founding scientist at biOasis Technologies Inc. is Dr. Wilfred Jefferies, Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories at The University of British Columbia. The future discovery and development of The Transcend Platform was foreshadowed in 1985 at Oxford University by Dr. Jefferies with his development of the first monoclonal antibody (Ox26) targeting the transferrin receptor located on the cells of the BBB, for transport across this barrier. The discovery of the Ox26 antibody targeted at the transferrin receptor was instrumental in leading scientists to consider using receptors located on the BBB as a route to deliver therapeutics to the brain.
biOasis’s proprietary technology, Transcend, was discovered in the 1990’s in Dr. Wilfred Jefferies’s laboratory at the Michael Smith Laboratories at The University of British Columbia. It was observed that a naturally occurring human protein called melanotransferrin, also called MTf, CD228 and p97, part of the Transferrin (Tf) family of proteins, carried iron to the central nervous system via receptors found on the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier. Significantly, it was also observed that the transferrin receptor was not involved in the MTf transcytosis process.
Based on these critical observations and discoveries, it was hypothesized that therapeutics could be delivered to the brain if they were attached to MTf. This hypothesis was proven correct in 2008 with the successful completion of a proof-of-concept study illustrating MTf’s ability to deliver therapeutics to the brain. The study, “A Unique Carrier for Delivery of Therapeutic Compounds beyond the Blood-Brain Barrier,” was later published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE. The use of MTf as a carrier of therapeutics to the brain was patented by UBC and The Transcend Platform was born.
The Founding of biOasis Technologies Inc.
biOasis’s Chairman and CEO, Mr. Rob Hutchison, was introduced to the Transcend technology at UBC in early 2006. Mr. Hutchison has extensive experience both in developing and commercializing new technologies and in the protection of intellectual property.
After consultation with medical professionals and exhaustive evaluation of Transcend’s potential, it was clear to Mr. Hutchison that this technology offered the potential to address one of the largest unmet medical needs in neurological science, the delivery of therapeutics into the brain. Mr. Hutchison acquired the Transcend intellectual property from UBC in 2007 and biOasis Technologies Inc. became a publicly traded company in 2008.
The Transcend Peptide – Breakthrough to Commercial Viability
It was recognized very early that the melanotransferrin or MTf protein was too large to generate significant commercial returns when combined with some therapeutic payloads. A smaller version of MTf was needed in order to manufacture clinical grade therapeutics to high quality standards and at reasonable costs.
In 2014, after several years of research and development with pharmaceutical companies and institutions, biOasis announced the availability of the new Transcend Platform, the ultra small peptide version of Transcend and its associated linkers. The breakthrough small peptide version of Transcend is now a part of biOasis’s extensive patent portfolio, has exceeded expectations and has out-performed its competitors in therapeutic brain-drug delivery.
With the ability to transport therapeutics of almost any type and size across the blood-brain barrier, the Transcend Platform is now available to be licensed by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for the advancement of their neurotherapeutic programs.
biOasis Technologies Inc. is Located in Vancouver, Canada and is a publicly-traded company on the TSX Venture Exchange with the symbol BTI and on the OTCQB with the symbol BIOAF.