24 June 2014 – CAMBRIDGE, UK – Endomagnetics, the company developing a portfolio of products to improve the standard of cancer care, announced today the acquisition of the ACT portfolio and related assets from Actium Biosystems, LLC. This move extends Endomagnetics’ oncology platform from diagnostics into therapeutics while maintaining synergies with its magnetic nanoparticle technology.
ACT is a novel therapeutic platform developed by Actium Biosystems of Boulder, Colorado to deliver controlled heating as an adjuvant to chemo- and radiotherapy. While adjuvant heating is applicable to many cancer types, the first indication under development by Actium Biosystems is the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. The system has been validated by two pre-clinical in vivo studies, including Duke University Medical Centre and an independent contract research facility. The studies successfully demonstrated that ACT is able to achieve well-defined therapeutic temperatures in the bladder using a catheter-introduced magnetic nanoparticle fluid and a safe, external magnetic field.
It has been known for many years that heat weakens and kills cancer, but heat can also adversely affect healthy tissue. However low temperature heat, from the normal body temperature of 37oC (98.6oF) to around 42oC, can weaken and kill cancer cells while having little impact on healthy tissue. This basic concept of treating cancer with low-temperature heat is called ‘hyperthermia’. Using magnetics, the ACT system addresses the shortcomings of current hyperthermia systems through the controlled delivery of heat at the specified location and temperature.
“While the clinical benefits of combining hyperthermia and chemotherapy in treating bladder cancer are well-established, the big challenge has been how to deliver the heat without harming healthy tissue. In conjunction with Endomagnetics’ nanoparticles, this acquisition should help accelerate the development of the ACT system to deliver an effective and simple-to-use therapy,” said Joe Tondu, President and CEO of Actium Biosystems.
Dr Eric Mayes, CEO of Endomagnetics commented: “We were extremely impressed with Actium’s team and their development of the ACT system. It was immediately clear that merging our platforms could speed the clinical introduction of the ACT system, and significantly expand the breadth and value of Endomagnetics’ device portfolio.”
Mayes continued “This acquisition builds on Endomagnetics’ materials platform to extend our oncology device pipeline from diagnostics into therapeutics. We are entering an exciting time and will be demonstrating the promise of our product pipeline over the coming months and years.”