Sirtex Collaboration with the National Cancer Centre of Singapore
Sydney, Australia – 6 December 2012 – Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) announced today that it has signed a Master Research Collaboration Agreement with SingHealth.
Under this agreement researchers from Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) will explore the potential of a new technology known as Carbon Cage Nanoparticles to develop a new generation of cancer therapies.
Developed by the Australian National University, Carbon Cage Nanoparticles can safely deliver radioactive substances to specific cancer sites deep within the body.
The nanoparticles may even evade detection by patients' immune systems, improving their ability to target specific cancers.* SingHealth's team of leading medical scientists and physicians have been quick to recognise these unique properties and the many potential applications of this technology that may represent a breakthrough in the treatment of a range of different cancers.
The master agreement will comprise several research projects. The first will evaluate the technology's use in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer that has spread within the abdominal and pelvic cavities. Ovarian cancer is a common cancer in women and has few or no symptoms in its early stages. As a result, most women are diagnosed late, when the disease has spread and prognosis is poor. A variety of other gastro-intestinal, hepato-biliary and female genito-urinary cancers may potentially benefit from such a treatment approach.
Mr Gilman Wong, Chief Executive Officer, Sirtex said, "Over the past six years Sirtex has been working with the Australian National University to develop a leading position in nanoparticle IP that may be developed for the treatment of human cancers in areas of unmet clinical need. This Master Research Collaboration Agreement with SingHealth is a milestone in the development of Sirtex's Carbon Cage Nanoparticle technology and brings together a leading group of physician scientists from the National Cancer Centre of Singapore with a strong track record of transitioning new technologies into the clinic."
Professor Soo Khee Chee, Deputy Group CEO (Research and Education), SingHealth, and Director, NCCS said "Sirtex's partnership with SingHealth is a clear testimony of our capability to provide high quality pre-clinical and translational research that can be used to develop new products. Collaborations with industry partners such as Sirtex provide new, cutting-edge technologies that allow us to offer our patients better treatment options, faster."
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About Carbon Cage Nanoparticles
Carbon Cage Nanoparticles carry a high internal payload of radioactive material while the outer carbon shell is chemically inert and possesses ideal properties for the attachment of cancer-targeting agents or coatings that can impart stealth-like properties to the nanoparticles. Such properties can enhance their ability to evade detection by the immune system, thus improving their ability to target specific cancers. Carbon Cage Nanoparticles are sub-micron size particles of graphitic carbon that encapsulate a metallic core. The technology is well proven, having its genesis in Technegas which was originally invented by Dr Bill Burch at the Royal Canberra Hospital and the Australian National University in 1984. Technegas has been widely used in Nuclear Medicine as an inhalable aerosol of Carbon Cage Nanoparticles containing a radiologically detectable radioisotope for the diagnosis of blood clots in the lungs. Sirtex has been working closely with the prestigious Australian National University for the past six years to develop an injectable form of the Carbon Cage Nanoparticles that can carry therapeutic radioisotopes for the treatment of cancer and has in-licensed this technology from the Australian National University.
About Singapore Health Services (SingHealth)
SingHealth, Singapore's largest Academic Healthcare Cluster, is committed to providing affordable and accessible quality healthcare to patients. With a total of 42 clinical specialties, its network of 2 Hospitals, 5 National Specialty Centres, 9 Polyclinics and a Community Hospital delivers a comprehensive range of multi-disciplinary and integrated medical care. SingHealth is responsible for developing Sengkang Health, a new healthcare system to deliver patient-centric care to the community in the north-east of Singapore. By 2018, a general hospital and a community hospital will be fully operational in Sengkang. The collective strengths of SingHealth and Duke-NUS, its partner in research and medical education, pave the way for the transformation of healthcare. For more information please visit: www.singhealth.com.sg.
This release was posted for and on behalf of Sirtex. To contact a member of the College Hill team about this release, email Anastasios.Koutsos@collegehill.com.