Ferronova Initiates Nanoparticle Trial for Gastric & Esophageal Cancers

Australian biotech firm, Ferronova, has commenced a clinical trial featuring their FerroTrace® nanoparticle technology in individuals diagnosed with gastric and esophageal cancers. This trial follows the successful completion of a first-in-human trial conducted between 2020 and 2022, focusing on oral cancer patients.

Australian biotech company Ferronova has launched the MAGMAP trial, which will enroll 60 patients, with the first patient enrolled at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. The trial will later expand to include Flinders Medical Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South Australia, followed by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Austin Hospital/Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre in Victoria. The trial aims to assess the safety, tolerability, feasibility, and potential diagnostic and clinical value of FerroTrace® for mapping high-risk lymph nodes in subjects.

Ferronova CEO Mr. Stewart Bartlett sees the trial as a crucial step toward improving outcomes for patients with gastric, gastric-oesophageal junction, and oesophageal cancers, which typically have poor survival rates, particularly when cancer has spread to lymph nodes.

Ferronova’s FerroTrace® product targets CD206 receptors in lymph nodes using super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, allowing for longer retention time and enabling detection via MRI and a handheld surgical magnetic detector. Principal Investigator Dr. Markus Trochsler explained that the trial will focus on mapping lymph nodes directly draining a primary tumor, which theoretically have the highest risk of containing metastases.

Dr. Trochsler highlighted the challenge of detecting small metastases with current imaging technology and expressed hope that the trial would provide an alternative approach for treatment planning.

Mr. Bartlett anticipates a 12-15 month enrollment period for the study and looks forward to the potential new treatment methods that may result from its completion. He expressed gratitude to the investigators and support teams involved and emphasized the importance of their work in designing and initiating the trial.

About Ferronova:

Ferronova, headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia, is a biotechnology company with shareholders including Renew Pharmaceuticals Limited, Uniseed, the University of South Australia, and other prominent entities. The company has received grant assistance from the SA Government and the Federal Government’s BioMedTech Horizons Program. In 2023, Ferronova received an Australian Government CRC-P grant to advance a nanoparticle formulation through a Phase 1b brain cancer clinical trial.

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