The patient base is projected to grow by approximately 50 percent

Colon and rectal cancer, colorectal cancer, is the third most common form of cancer in the world after prostate and breast cancer. The number of affected patients is expected to grow by approximately 50 percent worldwide, to more than 2.7 million new cases by 2030. The increase is primarily attributable to an aging population, urbanization, increased incidence of western lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking, and more widespread screening. 

Our initial market, rectal cancer, constitutes about a third of the total colorectal cancer market. Worldwide, this corresponds to about 600,000 cases annually. In Sweden, approximately 2,000 patients develop rectal cancer every year. 

The total available global rectal cancer market is estimated to be worth approximately SEK 6-12 billion, under the assumption that fees of TSEK 10-20 are charged for each examination through the sale of single-use items.

The introduction of screening entails strong growth

The introduction of colorectal cancer screening in Sweden, planned to be initated in 2021, will more than double the number of early cancer detections. This entails strong growth, as there will be twice as many patients with early-stage primary tumours. As a result – and due to the lack of reliable mapping of cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes – more patients will unnecessarily undergo extensive and dangerous surgery. In many cases, local surgery would be fully adequate.
This type of colorectal cancer screening has already been established in continental Europe and our neighbouring countries. The introduction of colorectal cancer screening results in a stage displacement of patients, from more progressed cancers to more early-stage cancers. The number of patients that may benefit from NanoEcho’s innovation is therefore set to increase significantly.

Major benefits of local surgery

Enhances the patient’s quality of life and avoids the need to use ostomy bags

Less invasive surgery and safer for the patient

More cost efficient, as patients can leave the hospital within a few hours

The surgeon – the final customer

The primary final customers are the surgeons at the hospitals that treat rectal cancer patients in Sweden. We will target university hospitals in Sweden and corresponding hospitals in the global market.

Future potential

In the next stage, there will be significant scope for developing the method for diagnostics of prostate cancer and other indications. The global medical imaging market is even larger for prostate cancer than for rectal cancer. It is projected to grow by approximately 2.8 million new cases by 2030.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. While the current five-year survival rate has reached beyond 90 percent, there are still challenges and scope for improvement within diagnostics and mapping of the cancer. Our already developed probe may, following certain adjustments, be used to target the prostate to provide imaging of relevant areas. Our assessment is that it will take about one to two years from the start of development of this application until clinical trials can be initiated.

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis means that damage inside an artery has resulted in a buildup of substances known as plaque, restricting blood flow. Unstable (dangerous) plaques, which could trigger a blood clot, could attract nanoparticles via immune cells. Our imaging method could then detect those nanoparticles. Our assessment is that it will take about 4–6 years from the start of development of this application until clinical trials can be initiated. 

Stem cell therapy 

Extensive research is currently underway within the field of stem cell therapy. The hope is to be able to add stem cells to different damaged organs and reconstitute the affected areas by natural means. Moving forward, we hope to be able to facilitate the implementation of stem cell therapy by preparing stem cells with nanoparticles, so that they can be monitored as they make their way to the afflicted target area. This application is still at the research stage, however. 

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