Endomagnetics has received UK Government funding to explore the clinical feasibility of applying its magnetic sentinel lymph node (SLN) technology for detecting melanoma cancer.
The grant is part of the first round of funding provided by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Technology Strategy Board, under the joint £180m Biomedical Catalyst programme.
As part of the programme, Endomagnetics will work in collaboration with King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, UK, to deliver the project, as well as conduct a clinical study.
The clinical study is designed to demonstrate the potential market size and identify any modifications to the technology required for optimal application to the melanoma cancer.
Endomagnetics' magnetic technology, including the CE-marked 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.
To confirm equivalence to the radioactive techniques, the multicentre NIHR-adopted trial is underway in the UK and the Netherlands, according to the company.
Dr. Eric Mayes, Endomagnetics CEO, said the company has always planned to extend the application of its 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," Mayes added.
David Bott, Technology Strategy Board innovation programmes director, said: "We are delighted to make these first funding awards through the Biomedical Catalyst, which will help bridge the funding gap between the development of a new idea and investment by the market in a new drug or technology, and provide effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK."