Many excellent candidates have been nominated for SwedNanoTechs annual award Årets Nanoföretag (Swedish Nanotechnology Company of the Year). Five companies have been selected from the candidates to give company presentations on stage during the nanotechnology conference Nanoforum 2014, May 15th in Stockholm.
Here you can read an interview about the nominated company Spago Nanomedical with their CEO, Andreas Bunge.
Why should Spago Nanomedical be Swedish Nanotechnology Company of the Year, 2014?
- We are working on solving two major medical problems: getting an early and accurate diagnosis of cancer, which is a prerequisite for successful treatment, and an innovative treatment against cancer that has spread.
We have managed to create nanoparticles with the correct size and properties to be used for selective cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Our breakthrough discovery is a nanoparticle with a potential to be used both for medical diagnostics and for treatment of cancer. We have been focused on the diagnosis of breast cancer with magnetic resonance (MR) in the first stage, a method that today have problems with many false positives and where there is need of treatment methods that are non-radioactive.
Today x-ray methods such as mammography, computed tomography (DT or CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) are used to diagnose various types of cancer. None of these methods are perfect. Both methods are based on ionizing radiation which itself increases the risk of cancer in risk groups. The x-ray method MRI can detect further more tumors but it is at the same time the biggest source for false positives results.
In our contrast fluid Spago Pix, nanoparticles act as carriers of manganese, an element that can be seen on the MRI scan. The particles are designed to transport and accumulate the manganese in the cancer tissue. In that way the sick tissue is made more visible in the MRI camera when scanned. The signal strength is 6-7 times stronger than current contrast agents.
With clearer images of the tumours, which hopefully also detects metastases, earlier identification can be made and with greater precision. That is vital information when choosing treatment. The contrast fluid helps to provide better images and reduce the number of false responses.
In the second stage we have replaced the manganese with radionuclides, or radioactive isotopes. Those particles accumulate in the tumour and have the ability to kill adjacent cells. In cases where it is difficult to use radiation treatment with precision, for example when the cancer is widely spread, radionuclide treatment can have a local effect on the tumour, a selective radiation.
In what areas do you have your customers?
We are in dialogue with several interested stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry and in contact with a number of companies in the area.
How long have Spago Nanomedical existed and how many employees do you have?
The company was formed in 2007. It was an innovation in the use of nanoparticles in contrast agents for MR from Linköping University that laid the foundation for the company. We discovered Spago Pix 2011 and filed for patent the same year.
The company was listed in 2012. We have continued to work successfully with the development of the contrast agent and we expect that it is ready to be tested in clinical trials next year. After that, it will take another three to four years before it is out in clinical practice. We are ten employees today.
About the award Årets nanoföretag 2014
During the conference NanoForum 2014 we will announce which company have been selected Årets nanoföretag 2014 (Swedish Nanotechnology Company of the Year 2014). The purpose of the award is to recognize a young, responsible, Swedish company with a clear nanotechnology profile.
About NanoForum 2014
NanoForum is the annual nanotechnology conference organized by the Swedish umbrella organization SwedNanoTech.
This year the conference is held May 15th, at IVA's conference center in Stockholm. The purpose of the conference is to highlight relevant nanotechnology topics with presentations from leading expertise.
NanoForum 2014 the fourth edition of the conference and is jointly organized by SwedNanoTech and the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA). The conference is free of charge.
Read more about the conference, the speakers and the exhibiting companies on the conference webpage.
SwedNanoTech är en förening som har bildats för att skapa en tydlig profil för svensk nanoteknologi i Sverige och utlandet och etablera ett gott samarbete mellan forskare, entreprenörer och samhället i övrigt. Vi har ca 120 medlemmar, både studenter, företag och enskilda forskare.