Endomagnetics, the Cambridge UK company developing magnetic technology for use in breast cancer research, reveals that it is using a new government cash award to explore melanoma detection – in partnership with two top UK hospitals.The Science Park business will work in partnership with King’s College London and Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital to deliver the project.
The project will explore the clinical feasibility of applying magnetic sentinel lymph node (SLN) detection to melanoma, a significant cancer with more than 116,000 cases per year in the EU and US alone (WHO), and an increasing incidence around the world.
As well as conducting a clinical study, it will evaluate the potential market size and identify any modifications to the technology required for optimal application to this cancer.
As revealed first by Business Weekly, the company is one of several local winners of cash awards under the Government’s £180 million Biomedical Catalyst programme designed to counter the ‘Valley of Death’ chasm in key areas of medical research.
Domainex, Sentinel Oncology, the University of Cambridge and Intelligent Fingerprinting in the local BioMedTech cluster have also won awards.
The funding has been provided by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board.
Endomagnetics’ SentiMag® instrument and Sienna+® magnetic tracer material overcome the disadvantages of the current radioisotope-based technique, including limited availability, poor workflow and issues of handling and exposure to radiation.
The products have been granted CE-mark approval in Europe, and a multi-centre NIHR-adopted trial is underway in the UK and The Netherlands to confirm equivalence to the radioactive techniques that are the current standard of care in breast cancer surgery.
Endomagnetics CEO Dr Eric Mayes said: “We have always planned to extend the application of our technology into other cancer areas such as melanoma and colorectal cancers. This funding comes at just the right time for us to accelerate the programme.”