MediSieve, the company behind a revolutionary magnetic sieve that filters out malaria-infected cells directly from a patient’s bloodstream, is now developing new methods to combat leukaemia. Following the successful development of its magnetic filter device, which will soon move into clinical trials, MediSieve is now commencing research into the treatment of other conditions using magnetic particles to target specific disease-causing components in blood.
MediSieve founder and CEO Dr George Frodsham said: “We have always been developing a platform technology to target a wide range of bloodborne diseases. We recently announced plans to target sepsis and now I’m very excited to share our work on leukaemia, too.”
However, the task of removing leukaemia cells from the bloodstream poses complex challenges. Blood cells containing malaria parasites are naturally magnetic, which means that they can be removed when a patient’s blood is passed through the MediSieve magnet and filtration device. The challenge with leukaemia, and with sepsis, is to develop ‘targeted magnetic particles’ that can capture cells that do not have the same magnetic properties as malaria.
To overcome that challenge, MediSieve has recruited an expert on magnetic particles, Dr Cristina Blanco Andujar. Dr Blanco joins MediSieve as the Product Development Manager to lead the leukaemia and sepsis projects, focusing particularly on the development of the magnetic particles required.
Leukaemia currently affects over 200,000 people in Europe and the United States – combining sufferers of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and acute myeloid leukaemia, the two forms of the disease against which the MediSieve treatment is expected to be most effective. Planned for launch in 2021 after clinical trials, it is intended to be used before a patient receives chemotherapy to improve drug effectiveness and reduce its side effects.