Manhattan Scientifics Inc. (www.MHTX.com) is a publicly traded company that has acquired, funded and is a substantial owner of two technologies in the nanomedicine space. One of these called Imagion Biosystems Ltd. www.ImagionBiosystems.com, the other is called, Metallicum, Inc. www.Metallicum.com: Our parent company’s website, (www.MHTX.com) summarizes both nanotechnologies. The Manhattan Scientifics plan is to bring product to the market under royalty-bearing licenses to major industrial partners.
Imagion Biosystems Ltd.(formerly called: Senior Scientific llc ) is a very early cancer diagnostic technology founded to develop a more sensitive method to detect cancer in its earliest stage. The founder, renowned physicist Edward R. Flynn, PhD., sought to combine the properties of super paramagnetic nanoparticles with low magnetic field detectors to create a magnetic relaxometry (MRX) medical system able to detect & pinpoint the earliest forms of cancers. The company was initially funded ($7.5 M) by the Small Business Innovative Research program (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense until it was acquired by Manhattan Scientifics Inc.. Manhattan Scientifics continued the investment program bringing some $20 million of new capital prior to Imagion’s spin-out as an IPO on the Australian stock exchange IBX.AX).
The principle of MRX is based on a simple and measurable attribute of magnetic particles, i.e. the rate a particle “relaxes” after having been subjected to a magnetic field. Magnetic particles that are attached to cells, for example, relax or revert to the random magnetic orientation, at a slower rate than particles that are free of attachment. Because of this delayed relaxation, the detector can be set to measure the relaxation at the time window appropriate for attached particles separate from the time window of relaxation of non-attached particles.
When nanoparticles coated with ligands or antibodies specific for disease target cells, e.g. breast cancer cells, are injected into a patient the target specific nanoparticles will bind to the target cells, if present, and the detector can measure the number and location of the target cells. The result is a highly sensitive, molecularly specific method to quantitate and locate cancer in-vivo. This combination of sensitivity, target specificity, and in-body detection is new and creates an opportunity to effect health outcomes.
Sensitivity - By measuring the relaxation principle of injected particles as opposed to the general magnetic field of particles as in MRI, the measurement can be much more sensitive than most conventional imaging methods. With MRX tumor masses consisting of 100,000 cells (or less) can be identified whereas MRI or ultrasound can only detect much larger masses (~10 million cells). While PET can be more sensitive than MRI it has the disadvantage of using radioactive tracers. This means MRX has the potential to detect cancer earlier when the mass is smaller and could require less invasive or less toxic therapies.
Specificity - By using cell specific nanoparticles, the MRX technology can identify specific forms of cancer (or other diseases). Unlike MRI or ultrasound that simply give an image of the tissue, the MRX technology can quantitate a specific type of cancer cells present.
Cost and Market - By using low magnetic fields the instrumentation can be installed in an unshielded environment. There is no need for large magnets and custom rooms. Ultimately it could be possible to have a system able to be used in an oncology practice like mammogram or ultrasound technologies.
Metallicum Inc. is focused on the advanced materials for medical devices.
Metallicum was founded in 2001 to develop methods to nanostructure virtually any conventional metal or alloy to greatly enhance strength and biocompatibility by so much that nanostructured metals could supplant all current biomedical alloys. They could also replace conventional alloys in non-medical applications where lightweight or extra strength is important. The founder was renowned materials scientist Terry C. Lowe, PhD (one of the Top 100 Materials Scientist of the 21st Century), who sought to develop and demonstrate an economical manufacturing method to capitalize on the distinct benefits of nano-engineered metals. The technology was developed with Los Alamos National Laboratory through $16 million of research grants from the U.S. Department of Energy before it was acquired by Manhattan Scientifics ) in 2008. Since then over $20M has been invested to implement manufacturing.
Metals can be nanostructured by the simply subjecting them to large amounts of shear deformation, combined with superimposed high pressure. This combination effectively reduces the size scale of the internal features of the metal by factors of 500x to 1000x. Creating such small nanostructural features enhances many properties, especially strength and ductility. The technique has similarities with other metal forming methods such as rolling, extrusion, and wire drawing, but has the advantage of producing nanoscale structures that cannot be created by conventional metal forming.
Metallicum’s primary nanostructuring method was designed to be incorporated into conventional metal production lines as an additional step in the overall manufacturing process. In fact, the benefits of nanostructuring are invariably further amplified by subsequent conventional metal shaping and forming to final dimensions. Metal producers implementing nanostructuring methods need make little change to existing production steps. Likewise, companies adopting nanostructured metals into their existing products may do so with the confidence that the final steps in manufacturing their metal feedstock can be unchanged from current practices.
Strength – The main advantage of nanostructured metals is enhanced strength, typically by 50% to 150% beyond conventional metals. These increments can be achieved in pure metals and alloys alike, and don’t require the heat treatments needed to strengthen most alloys.
Biocompatibility – The additional surface energy and nanoscale topography of nanostructured metals accelerates patient healing responses, including upregulating the expression of genes that control multiple cellular processes. The net result is significantly enhanced healing responses of human cells to nanostructured surfaces of every medical alloy tested to date.
Manufacturing cost - By deliberately designing our nanostructuring method to be comparable to existing manufacturing technologies, the benefits of nanoscale engineering can be obtained without excessive cost premiums.
Please also see: www.metallicum.com (Metallicum Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manhattan Scientifics Inc.)