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Quantum Materials and Nanoaxis announce tech alliance
November 2011
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author


TEMPE, Ariz.—With an aim of developing cancer diagnostic kits and theranostic applications for such conditions as Alzheimer's disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and major depression, Quantum Materials Corp. and Nanoaxis LLC recently announced the formation of a technology alliance combining Quantum Materials' tetrapod quantum dot mass production technology with Nanoaxis' research expertise and intellectual property in gene therapy biomedical nanotechnology. 
According to the companies, Quantum Materials Corp. will develop specialized quantum dots for Nanoaxis "to functionalize with their proprietary biomedical nanomaterials for a multiplexing drug delivery platform for drug/gene therapy and diagnostic medical devices technologies." The partners say that this technology alliance will allow for rapid develop of the desired technology because of "Quantum Materials' ability to create the highest quality quantum dots in quantities necessary to support multiple projects with timely deliveries."  
Looking to their most immediate goal, the two companies plan to develop a quantum dot microarray device for detection, diagnosis and quantification of early cancers. The QD-MI device will be designed for rapid detection and grading of various multiple cancers using blood assays, with what they say will be higher accuracy and at less cost than current single ELISA assays.
"This alliance will foster a breakthrough in theranostic science as it enables mass production of Nanoaxis nanomedicine product pipeline," says Stephen Squires, CEO and president of Quantum Material Corp. "The goal is to make these biologically adapted quantum dots the ideal choice for in-vitro and in-vivo applications for high-throughput, efficient and cost-effective applications in the biological and medical market spaces. Quantum Materials' ability to create tetrapod quantum dots of various materials, shapes, sizes and characteristics that can serve as delivery platforms for Nanoaxis products will allow for rapid commercial development."  
Nanoaxis was founded with a mission based on how it could use nanomaterials to push the field of nanomedicine forward, both for pharmaceutical and diagnostic applications, says Dr. Krishnan Chakravarthy, president and CEO of Nanoaxis.
"We've really grown over the past few years by pursuing both the pharma and diagnostic paths in parallel," he tells ddn. "Using nanotechnology in the pharma setting is something you can compare to carriers in general—like cargo on a truck. As important as the gene therapy might be, for example, so is the vehicle that delivers it. We're at a stage now where we can engineer the surfaces of nanomaterials so that we can target specific cancer cells in oncology or specific neurons for things like Alzheimer 's."  
Chakravarthy described Nanoaxis as being "on the verge of really building and growing our patent portfolio," and said it made sense to help advance that by teaming up with Quantum Materials, given that it specializes in making tetrapod quantum dots, "a material that we are incorporating into our product lines because there are so many uses, from theranostics to sophisticated multiplexing of biomarkers in blood samples."  
"Our business has become much more about creating applications for the nanomaterials rather than trying to create the materials themselves, and that is another way in which it's clear how good a pairing our two companies are," Chakravarthy notes. "This is a very strong partnership and I think working together, I see a very strong trajectory toward doing some clinical trials in the next two or three years."
The companies noted in the news release about their tech alliance that a recent report published by BCC Research puts the total market for nanobiotechnology products at $19.3 billion in 2010, noting that that figure is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9 percent to reach a predicted market size of $29.7 billion by 2015.  
Quantum Materials' production capabilities were a huge attraction in sealing a tech alliance, Chakravarthy says, because it means potentially large scale at lower prices. Quantum Materials Corp. touts its new synthesis method as "mass-producible using continuous flow technology processes developed in conjunction with Access2Flow microreactor technology." Quantum Materials reports that it is now implementing mass production lines with each pilot line designed to scale from the initial kilogram-plus output up to an order of magnitude of as much as 100 kilograms per day per microreactor in the second half of this year.  
"To put this in perspective," the company notes of its production capability, "less than one month's quantum dot production at 100kg/day would equal the display industry's total consumption of quantum dots in 2010. The production lines can be replicated as necessary to increase output capacity as needed."
Code: E111115



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