The company's product is intended to improve chemotherapy effectiveness and reduce its sometimes fatal side effects
MediSieve, the company behind a magnetic sieve that filters out malaria-infected cells directly from a patient’s bloodstream, is developing new methods to fight leukaemia.
Following the successful development of its magnetic filter device, which will soon move into clinical trials, MediSieve’s experts are now beginning research into the treatment of other life-threatening blood diseases using magnetic particles to target specific disease-causing components in blood.
Founder and CEO of MediSieve, George Frodsham, said: “We have always been developing a platform technology to target a wide range of blood-borne diseases. We recently announced our plans to target sepsis and now I’m very excited to share our work against leukaemia, too.”
However, the task of removing leukaemia cells from the bloodstream poses complex challenges in comparison to the treatment of malaria.
Malarial cells are naturally magnetic, which means when a patient’s blood is passed through the MediSieve magnet and filtration devices, they can be removed.
The challenge with leukaemia, and with sepsis, is to develop “targeted magnetic particles” which can capture those types of infected cells, which do not have the same magnetic properties as malaria.
According to MediSieve, leukaemia currently affects more than 200,000 people between Europe and the United States.
This includes both sufferers of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and acute myeloid leukaemia, the two types of leukaemia that the MediSieve treatment is expected to be the most effective on.
Its product, planned to be ready in 2021 after clinical trials, is intended to be used before a patient receives chemotherapy to improve both the drugs’ effectiveness and reduce its side effects, some of which can be fatal.
The company has already received a Pathfinder Award from the Wellcome Trust, granting the it £102,000 to fund a 12-month project to manufacture and test clinical prototypes.
In addition, MediSieve has won an Innovate UK Smart 2015/16 Proof of Concept Award grant worth £100,000 and received a €50,000 SME Instrument grant from the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme.