TEMPE, Ariz.—With an aim of developing cancer diagnostickits and theranostic applications for such conditions as Alzheimer's disease,type 1 and type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and major depression, QuantumMaterials Corp. and Nanoaxis LLC recently announced the formation of atechnology alliance combining Quantum Materials' tetrapod quantum dot massproduction technology with Nanoaxis' research expertise and intellectualproperty in gene therapy biomedical nanotechnology.
According to the companies, Quantum Materials Corp. willdevelop specialized quantum dots for Nanoaxis "to functionalize with theirproprietary biomedical nanomaterials for a multiplexing drug delivery platformfor drug/gene therapy and diagnostic medical devices technologies." Thepartners say that this technology alliance will allow for rapid develop of thedesired technology because of "Quantum Materials' ability to create the highestquality quantum dots in quantities necessary to support multiple projects withtimely deliveries."
Looking to their most immediate goal, the two companies planto develop a quantum dot microarray device for detection, diagnosis andquantification of early cancers. The QD-MI device will be designed for rapiddetection and grading of various multiple cancers using blood assays, with whatthey say will be higher accuracy and at less cost than current single ELISAassays.
"This alliance will foster a breakthrough in theranosticscience as it enables mass production of Nanoaxis nanomedicine productpipeline," says Stephen Squires, CEO and president of Quantum Material Corp."The goal is to make these biologically adapted quantum dots the ideal choicefor in-vitro and in-vivo applications for high-throughput, efficient andcost-effective applications in the biological and medical market spaces.Quantum Materials' ability to create tetrapod quantum dots of variousmaterials, shapes, sizes and characteristics that can serve as deliveryplatforms for Nanoaxis products will allow for rapid commercial development."
Nanoaxis was founded with amission based on how it could use nanomaterials to push the field ofnanomedicine forward, both for pharmaceutical and diagnostic applications, saysDr. Krishnan Chakravarthy, president and CEO of Nanoaxis.
"We've really grown over the pastfew years by pursuing both the pharma and diagnostic paths in parallel," hetells ddn. "Using nanotechnology in thepharma setting is something you can compare to carriers in general—like cargoon a truck. As important as the gene therapy might be, for example, so is thevehicle that delivers it. We're at a stage now where we can engineer thesurfaces of nanomaterials so that we can target specific cancer cells inoncology or specific neurons for things like Alzheimer's."
Chakravarthy described Nanoaxis asbeing "on the verge of really building and growing our patent portfolio," andsaid 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 weare incorporating into our product lines because there are so many uses, fromtheranostics to sophisticated multiplexing of biomarkers in blood samples."
"Our business has become much moreabout creating applications for the nanomaterials rather than trying to createthe materials themselves, and that is another way in which it's clear how gooda pairing our two companies are," Chakravarthy notes. "This is a very strongpartnership and I think working together, I see a very strong trajectory towarddoing some clinical trials in the next two or three years."
The companies noted in the newsrelease about their tech alliance that a recent report published by BCCResearch puts the total market for nanobiotechnology products at $19.3 billionin 2010, noting that that figure is growing at a compound annual growth rate of9 percent to reach a predicted market size of $29.7 billion by 2015.
Quantum Materials' production capabilities were a hugeattraction in sealing a tech alliance, Chakravarthysays, 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 inconjunction with Access2Flow microreactor technology." Quantum Materialsreports that it is now implementing mass productionlines with each pilot line designed to scale from the initial kilogram-plusoutput up to an order of magnitude of as much as 100 kilograms per day permicroreactor in the second half of this year.
"To put this in perspective," thecompany notes of its production capability, "less than one month's quantum dotproduction at 100kg/day would equal the display industry's total consumption ofquantum dots in 2010. The production lines can be replicated as necessary toincrease output capacity as needed."