Creo Medical Announces Participation in SUMCASTEC Research Programme
Multidisciplinary Consortium Awarded €4 Million Grant Programme Focused on Isolation and Neutralization of Cancer Stem Cells
Chepstow, South Wales, 1 March 2017 – Creo Medical Group plc (AIM: CREO) (“Creo” or the “Company”), a medical device company focused on the emerging field of surgical endoscopy, announces its participation in the Semiconductor-based Ultrawideband Micromanipulation of Cancer Stem Cells (“SUMCASTEC”) H2020 FET OPEN research programme, led by the XLIM Research Institute at the University of Limoges in France.
Creo is one of six European partners gathered in a multidisciplinary consortium aimed at developing a novel and innovative micro-optofluidic lab-on-chip (LOC) platform deploying semi-conductor technology to neutralize cancer stem cells with electromagnetic waves. The consortium has been awarded a €4 million (£3.4 million) grant, €530,000 (£450,000) of which is allocated to Creo.
SUMCASTEC is based on the isolation, followed by the neutralisation of cancer cells associated with some of the most aggressive brain tumours, specifically Glioblastoma Multiforme and Medulloblastoma. Brain cancers are among the most difficult tumours to treat and remain a leading cause of death in Europe (57,000 new cases and 45,000 deaths were reported by World Health Organisation in Europe in 2012).
Creo will lead on the development of the cell neutralisation aspect of the programme with a view to the potential commercialisation of the LOC device so that can be used in-situ. Certain aspects of this project are closely related to the work already being undertaken by Creo for the treatment of lung tumours.
Chris Hancock, Chief Technology Officer of Creo Medical, said:
“We are excited to be part of the SUMCASTEC consortium, which brings together well-respected neurologists, microbiologists and engineers. This grant recognises the potential of Creo Medical's innovative ablation technology and its potential application in new and challenging fields. This new system has the potential to provide a new treatment option for some of the most aggressive brain tumours.”
Arnaud Pothier, main project leader and CNRS senior researcher at Limoges University, said:
“This is an important project in the development of a potential new cancer treatment for some of the most aggressive brain tumours. Creo’s development expertise and growing commercial infrastructure makes them an ideal consortium partner to bring the lab-on-chip into human use and then to market.”
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Notes to Editors
In the consortium, Creo are joined by:
The XLIM Institute and the Cellular Homeostasis and Diseases Laboratory at the University of Limoges in France;
The University of Bangor in the United Kingdom;
IHP Microelectronics, the German technological research institute;
ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development; and
The University of Padova in Italy.
SUMCASTEC explores radically new approach for cancer stem cells (CSCs) real time isolation (i.e. within minutes vs current 40 days) and neutralization. A novel micro-optofluidic lab-on-chip (LOC) platform will be developed through a joint and iterative effort by biologists, clinicians and engineers. For the first time, a single LOC will be capable of delivering ultra-wide broadband radiation to compare cell spectral signatures, image subcellular features, and hence modulate CSCs microenvironment conditions with unprecedented space and time resolution. It will be driven to isolate CSCs from heterogeneous differentiated and stem cell populations, and force CSCs differentiation, ultimately inducing sensitivity to anticancer treatments. Extensive in vitro and in vivo testing along with biophysical modelling will validate the approach and establish the proof-of-principle within the project life-time, while laying the groundwork for further development of future electrosurgical tools that will be capable CSCs neutralization in tissue.
This will not only establish a new line of treatment for brain cancers such as Glioblastoma Multiforme and Medulloblastoma, whose initiation and recurrence were linked to CSCs, and that claim tremendous human and economic tolls, worldwide; it will also push the current boundaries of microbiological analysis by enabling microenvironment characterization/manipulation and real-time ionic channels monitoring without cytotoxic patch-clamping or electron microscopy.
By investing in efforts such as SUMCASTEC’s, Europe will stand at the forefront of global biomedical innovation and push through a similar miniaturization trend as the one that propelled mobile communications, yet with much deeper societal impact. All the required competences are gathered within this consortium. The ambitious objectives of the project are planned over 42 months with a requested grant of €3,978,517.5.
The SUMCASTEC project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N° 737164.
About Creo Medical
Creo Medical, founded in 2003, is a medical device company focused on the development and commercialisation of minimally invasive surgical devices, by bringing advanced energy to endoscopy. The Company’s mission is to improve patient outcomes by applying microwave and radiowave energy to surgical endoscopy. Creo has developed CROMA, an electrosurgical platform that combines bipolar radiofrequency for precise localised cutting and microwave for controlled coagulation. This technology provides physicians with flexible, accurate and controlled surgical solutions.
The Company’s strategy is to bring the CROMA surgical system to market through a suite of medical instruments which the Company has designed, initially for GI therapeutic endoscopy, an area with high unmet needs. The CROMA system will be developed further for bronchoscopy and laparoscopy procedures. The Company believes its technology can impact the landscape of surgery and endoscopy by providing safer, less-invasive and more cost-efficient option of treatment.
In December 2016, the Company raised £20 million (gross proceeds) in an initial public offering on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange.