Innovative process aims to reduce cancer recurrence
By Jill Kemp • Eliminating cancer stem cells is the goal of the Sanatela Matrix, a new biomaterial tissue which is soon to be used in a clinical study. Unlike current chemotherapy, this technology is developed for patients with a sample of blood, which allows doctors to create an individual approach.
One of the advantages is that only a single treatment is required for a patient, not multiple weeks of chemotherapy. The biomaterial tissue is developed using a substance from donated umbilical cords after healthy live births.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 90 percent of all cancer deaths are the result of cancer stem cells that metastasize and spread to other areas of the body.
“In recent years, cancer researchers have discovered that cancer stem cells are the root cause of cancer. If you don’t kill the patient’s cancer stem cells, in most cases, cancer will return and metastasize,” says Michael Crowley, co-founder and CEO of Sanatela, which was recently named as MedTech’s Company of the Year. “Cancer stem cells are hard to find and difficult to kill, but we believe with the Sanatela Matrix, we can kill all the cancer stem cells and eliminate that risk.”
The Sanatela Matrix can also potentially serve as an early screening platform that can find cancer stem cells in a patient’s blood long before they show any sign of cancer.
“If you don’t target stem cells, the best you can hope for is that you go into remission,” Crowley says. “With our technology, we believe we can finally win the war on cancer.”
“As an oncologist who makes treatment decisions every day, the ability to test all the options and create a treatment plan in the lab – before I administer them to my patient – will be a major improvement,” says co-inventor Dr. Omar Aljitawi.
In April 2019, Sanatela acquired the exclusive rights to this process. The University of Rochester, where this technology was discovered, owns 10 percent of the stock and royalties.
Earlier this month, Sanatela moved into new space in Fairport. There were numerous programs that added tax advantages to enable the company to stay in New York State. Monroe County Economic Development is providing half of the training costs for new employees. Resources are also being provided by Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Start Up NY program. As a result of these programs, the company does not pay sales tax, income tax or real estate taxes. Employees that that work for the company pay no State income tax on their wages.
Now that labs have been established, the team is currently producing and marketing a gauze for wound dressing while it awaits funding for the clinical trial. Using Sanatela, this approach can heal burns, re-grow skin and re-grow bone without a scar.
The company is conducting a funding campaign to conduct an analysis on patients. To donate, go to Sanatela fundraising site.