Our Science

Alessa is at the forefront in developing new and innovative localized, sustained drug delivery strategies for the treatment and early interception of cancer and other proliferative disorders. We are developing drug-eluting implants and have completed initial human feasibility testing. Our leading efforts are focused on prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia.

Prostate Cancer Overview

Current treatment options for lower-risk cancer cases include either active surveillance (regular exams and repeat biopsies) or whole-gland treatment (prostatectomy or prostate radiation therapy. these procedures often pose considerable short and long-term side effects including impotence and incontinence.

View the Alessa implant procedure

There is an immediate need for a therapy that has less side effects for those men with high risk for progression and who are not well served with active surveillance.

In men with higher-risk disease, anti­-androgen therapy is typically administered together with radiation for 6-36 months.. However, even short-term systemic hormonal therapy can cause significant side effects including muscle mass loss, cognitive issues, sexual dysfunction, and cardiovascular events.

Alessa’s Biolen®PC has the potential to deliver therapeutic benefits of anti­ androgen therapy without the systemic side effects.

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH is the most common urinary condition in men over 50.  By the age of 50, more than half of men suffer from symptoms such as frequent urination and inability to completely empty the bladder during urination. Every year, over 12 million men in the U.S. seek treatment for BPH symptoms that are interfering with their quality of life.

Options include drug interventions or surgery to remove the inner portion of the prostate (TURP), ablation using vapor or laser to destroy the prostate tissue, or placing implants to push prostate tissue away from the urethra.

Alessa’s Biolen, with a localized, sustained delivery of hormonal therapy has the potential to alleviate BPH symptoms without causing common side effects such as irritative symptoms, urinary retention, or retrograde ejaculation.