Australian biotechnology company Ferronova Pty Ltd today announced it had been awarded an $826,000 grant from the Australian Government’s BioMedTech Horizons (BTMH) program, operated by MTPConnect to further its nanoparticle development program.

Ferronova Chief Executive Officer Stewart Bartlett said the grant program will fund further development of its nanoparticle technology and first-in-human studies in colorectal cancer to investigate the feasibility of improving the imaging of lymph nodes and mapping sentinel nodes to improve staging, leading to new treatment options for patients with early stage colorectal cancers.

“The involvement of lymph nodes in colorectal cancer results in a poor prognosis, but for cancers where the spread to the lymph nodes is in the early stages, current standards of care often miss the micro-deposits and assume the patient was cured by surgery alone”, Mr Bartlett said.

“With our research partners we hope to shift the dial for colorectal cancer patients, where currently up to 27 per cent of early stage patients have undetected micro tumours or isolated cancer cells in lymph nodes”.