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Patent Issued for Drug Technology with Prostate Treatment

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Medifocus Inc. in Columbia, Maryland received a patent for a technique of delivering heat-sensitive drugs with its treatment for enlarged prostate. U.S. patent 8,374,702 was awarded to Medifocus chief operating officer John Mon and MIT engineer Alan Fenn on 12 February and assigned to Medifocus.

The patent covers a technology for delivering drugs targeted to tissues adjacent to regions receiving heat treatments, such as the prostate gland. The technology is designed, says Medifocus, to complement the company’s Prolieve system for treating enlarged prostate that uses heat treatments, and will enable the Prolieve system to be used with treatments for prostate and other cancers.

Medifocus says the Prolieve system is a 45-minute in-office treatment, and alternative to surgery, that combines the generation of microwaves and a balloon compression technology to both heat the prostate and dilate the urethra. The system includes a computer and software program that control the focusing and application of heat.

The patented technology uses a catheter positioned adjacent to the affected tissue to deliver heat-sensitive liposomes, tiny lipid vessels carrying the additional drugs, such as those targeted to treat cancer. The heat generated by the Prolieve treatments then activates the liposomes, releasing their drug cargos.

Medifocus says its scientific staff and manager created the original Prolieve technology, which the company acquired for $5 million from Boston Scientific Corporation in June 2012. Boston Scientific acquired the technology in 2007 from Celsion Corporation, and had been the exclusive distributor of the Prolieve system since 2004.

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