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Cancer zapper and small cap star Invion says a new formulation of its Photosoft technology is 15 times more effective at killing ovarian cancer cells than the previous iteration.

IVX-P02 is an improved formulation of Photosoft Oral. Initial in vitro studies — essentially test tube studies — have shown that it had a 15-fold greater propensity to kill ovarian cancer cells.

Fairly promising, then, given that it was only early July that Invion (ASX:IVX) announced the Photosoft technology was causing 100 per cent cancer cell death in a matter of minutes. That news sent the stock flying 48 per cent.

This morning’s news sent the stock up 9 per cent to 3.8c.

Invion is a stand-out performer in the biotech space. Its share price is up 560 per cent compared with this time last year, while its market cap increased by more than 4,000 per cent in the 2018 financial year.

The company also claimed a place among the best performing small cap stocks for 2018.

Invion shares (ASX:IVX) over the past year.

The Photosoft product is a photosynthesiser made from chlorophyll which is activated at certain light sensitivity levels and produces “cyto-reactive oxygen”, which can kill malignant cancer cells.

Dr Andrew Stephens, head of the Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers Research Group at the Hudson Institute, Invion’s research partner, said there were several benefits of the new formulation.

“The 15-fold increase in cell death means you can either increase how rapidly you kill the cells, or you can increase the proportion of cells that you kill for the same concentration in the same amount of time” he said.

Invion chief Dr Greg Collier told Stockhead that the company should quickly progress through animal and human clinical trials.

“The beauty of this treatment is that it has already been shown to be effective, Photosoft is a new breed of an old therapy that has been around for about 50 years,” he said.

“We’re not trialling an unknown substance with unknown effects here – so the route through clinical trials should be cleaner and quicker.”

Dr Collier told Stockhead the company would target skin cancer early next year followed by ovarian cancer.

“This data lays the groundwork for ongoing pre-clinical trials of Photosoft and IVX-P02 as an indication for chemo-resistant, solid ovarian tumours,” he said.