NanoEcho’s technique – in 60 seconds

Do you want to know more about NanoEcho's imaging method for rectal cancer diagnosis? Then take a look at the video below, which in 60 seconds explains how the technique, magnetomotive ultrasound, works.

A system intended to meet authority and customer requirements is now on site

NanoEcho has now successfully completed the detailed product development phase. The work has resulted in a system that has been developed to meet both the authorities' and customers' requirements. This system consists of parts manufactured by the company's selected partners and key suppliers, Vermon and us4us. The system is now on site at the company's premises in Lund, ready for integration and evaluation.

The detailed product development phase is now complete and the company's product development work is moving into an integration and evaluation phase. In this phase, all the parts of the system, that the company has developed together with its partners, are assembled and the system software will be developed.
Once the integration work is completed, the system will be evaluated with regard to authority and customer requirements. The company's ambition is to replace the prototype system currently used in the ongoing investigator-led clinical development studies with this new system in 2023.

"We have had our sights set on this milestone all year, and today I am extremely proud that we now have our system assembled on site here in Lund. Both our team and our partners have done a very impressive job, developing and producing this system to meet highly set medical technical requirements in such a short time. When we replace the prototype system with this system in the ongoing clinical development studies, the goal is to increase the quality of the data we obtain," says Linda Persson, CEO of NanoEcho.

Start of an investigator-led clinical development study at Skåne University Hospital

An investigator-led clinical development study has started at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö. In this context, the first examination of resected rectal cancer tissue has been performed with the NanoEcho diagnostic system.

NanoEcho is developing a system that intends to improve the diagnosis of rectal cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes, an important marker of cancer progression. Since 2021, there has been an ongoing investigator-led clinical development study on resected rectal cancer tissue at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. Now an investigator-led study has also started at Skåne University Hospital (SUS) in Malmö. Using NanoEcho's system, these developmental studies aim to examine rectal cancer at different stages and located anywhere in the rectum.

The first patient at SUS in Malmö has been recruited and the first examination was carried out with the company's diagnostic prototype system on 3rd November. The study, which will include approximately 40 rectal cancer patients, is lead by Henrik Thorlacius, surgery professor at Lund University and Chief Physician in surgery at Scania University Hospital in Malmö. Patients will undergo usual routine standard surgery and the tissue removed during surgery will be examined with NanoEcho's system before being submitted for pathological analysis.

“We hope that NanoEcho´s instrument can identify lymph nodes containing cancer cells, which could improve the diagnosis of rectal cancer. If we can, we will proceed with further clinical studies whereby NanoEcho's instrument will be evaluated on patients before surgery”, says Henrik Thorlacius.

“Starting now these two investigator-led clinical development studies represents a major milestone. The goal is that together they will provide a comprehensive analysis of the system's performance and contribute important information to the product development of our commercial system”, says Linda Persson CEO of NanoEcho.

Link to a film where Henrik Thorlacius explains more about the investigator-led clinical development study.

Scientific evidence for NanoEcho’s imaging method

An image of magnetic nanoparticles in human tissue generated by magnetomotive ultrasound is shown for the first time. The image created with NanoEcho's prototype system in the ongoing investigator-led study at Sahlgrenska University Hospital has now been published in a peer-reviewed article (1).

Treatment of rectal cancer patients is largely based on how far the cancer has progressed. Today, this is determined mainly by tissue samples, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography. These methods have limitations, which is why NanoEcho has developed a patented imaging system based on the magnetomotive ultrasound method. This system is intended to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of rectal cancer, by demonstrating the difference between diseased and healthy tissue. The method is based on injecting iron oxide-based nanoparticles next to the tumour via the intestine and setting them in motion by an external magnetic field. This movement is captured by ultrasound and imaged on the screen.

"I am pleased to see that we have now made some progress in our efforts to improve rectal cancer diagnostics," says Eva Angenete, Professor of Surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

The scientific publication is based on extensive measurements in a laboratory environment, as well as an examination of a patient with rectal cancer undergoing rectal cancer surgery. Prior to surgery, the patient had iron oxide-based nanoparticles injected at three sites near the tumour. The patient then underwent the planned operation, and the part of the rectum where the cancerous tumour was located was removed together with the surrounding lymph nodes, according to standard clinical practice. After the procedure, the surgical removed tissue was examined with the NanoEcho prototype system, and the ultrasound image showed the nanoparticles clearly at all three injection sites.

"It was a great day for us at NanoEcho when we were able to see our system detect nanoparticles in human tissue for the first time ever. It really energised us and motivated us to continue our work. The fact that the results have now been scientifically reviewed and published is, of course, a confirmation of their importance," says Linda Persson, CEO of NanoEcho.

Image 1. (see image attachment) Magnetomotive ultrasound imaging of iron oxide-based nanoparticles in human tissue. Before surgery, the patient was injected with nanoparticles, and the surgical removed sample was imaged. The three coloured areas correspond to the three injection sites (1).

The article, which is now available online in the journal Nanomedicine: NBM, is the result of a scientific collaboration between Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Lund University and NanoEcho (1).
Link to the article.

(1) Jansson T, Jansson L, Mousavi A, Persson L, Angenete E, Detection of magnetomotive ultrasound signals from human tissue, Nanomedicine: NBM (in press)

NanoEcho Strengthens its Regulatory Competence

As part of the company's development, NanoEcho is strengthening the organisation by adding regulatory expertise to the management team. Kristina Hallström will bear responsibility for Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, with a particular focus on market approval for NanoEcho's system.

Kristina Hallström, Head of Marketing and Communication at NanoEcho, now has an expanded remit. She boasts extensive experience in working strategically with clinical issues and regulatory matters. In recent years, she has been active as a medical technology consultant with a clinical and regulatory focus. At NanoEcho, Kristina will work actively together with clinics, product developers and authorities, all with a view to securing market approval for NanoEcho's system.

Kristina has taken on this assignment gradually. During the autumn, the company worked on developing a regulatory strategy, selected a Notified Body to certify the quality management system, and applied for – and was granted – a Vinnova grant for regulatory work.

'I am very happy that Kristina has chosen to expand her corporate responsibility and also taken on this key regulatory work. I feel we are in safe hands with Kristina in the management team, where she is a great asset and contributes on many fronts with the breadth and depth of her experience,' says Linda Persson, CEO at NanoEcho.

'It will be exciting to drive the process of getting market approval for our system – something we do by showing, step by step, that our system is both clinically useful and meets all the authorities' requirements,' says Kristina Hallström.

Since October 17, Kristina has been working full-time at the company with responsibility for Marketing, Communications, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance.

Board member resigns at his own request due to medical reasons

At his own request, BG (Bengt-Göran) Svensson has chosen to leave NanoEcho's board for medical reasons. At the same time, he announces that he is leaving all of his board assignments.

BG Svensson has been an elected board member on NanoEcho's board since 2020.

"This was sad news, I have appreciated working together with BG and I am grateful for the work he has put into NanoEcho's board," says Linda Persson CEO of NanoEcho.

NanoEcho announces collaboration partner for the nanoparticle

NanoEcho and SPL medical have signed a Letter of Intent and initiated a cooperation on regulatory partnership and supply for the iron-oxide based nanoparticle. The aim of the collaboration is to achieve market approval for the NanoEcho indication, diagnostics of rectal cancer lymph node metastases.

NanoEcho and SPL medical have signed a Letter of Intent to explore the possibilities to expand the medical indication and intended purpose of SPL’s particles to also cover NanoEcho’s application.

In NanoEcho's method for diagnostics of rectal cancer lymph node metastases, modern ultrasound technology is used together with iron-oxide based nanoparticles. For the clinical effectiveness of the system, the choice of nanoparticle is essential.

The Letter of Intent also includes discussions regarding collaborations around potential additional indications for NanoEcho's method.

The lymphotropic nanoparticle from SPL medical, Ferumoxtran, has been developed for the detection of lymph node metastases. It is available today to patients in Europe, within an ongoing registration clinical trial. The particle is intended to be used as a contrast agent for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in diagnostics of various cancers. In total the nanoparticle from SPL medical has so far been used with more than 700 patients in the Netherlands and Switzerland in special approvals.

Together with SPL medical, NanoEcho aims to compile necessary data to obtain regulatory approval to start a clinical registration study on the diagnosis of rectal cancer lymph node metastases with NanoEchos patented magnetomotive ultrasound technology. The aim of the upcoming clinical registration study is to obtain market approval for the combined NanoEcho device and nanoparticle in Europe.

“We are very pleased to have established this collaboration with SPL medical. This is an important step in our journey. Based on our initial evaluation, the particle provided by SPL medical looks very promising for our application. Their expertise in the development and commercialisation of nanoparticles is impressive and will be very beneficial for us at NanoEcho“, says Dr. Linda Persson CEO for NanoEcho.

“The extension of the scope of applicability of Ferumoxtran, our proprietary iron-oxide nanoparticle, also to modern ultrasound technology demonstrates the wide power of this platform technology beyond the broad field of nano-MRI”, says Dr. Jürgen Feuerstein CEO for SPL Medical.

Go ahead to start clinical development study at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö

NanoEcho has been cleared to start a clinical development study at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö. The ethics committee has already approved the study and recruitment of patients is planned to commence during the fall.

NanoEcho develops a method intended to facilitate differentiation between healthy and diseased tissue and at the same time determine the location of the cancer spread more precisely. The proprietary diagnostic system aims to fill a current void in rectal cancer care. Since June 2021, NanoEcho is conducting a clinical development study at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The Company has now also been cleared to start a clinical development study at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö.

The trial will be led by Henrik Thorlacius, Professor of Surgery at Lund University and Chief Physician at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö. Recruitment of patients is planned to commence during the fall, and approximately 40 patients will be included overall. The duration of the study will be one to two years from the commencement date. The patients participating in the study will undergo the usual routine surgery. Once the cancer is removed from the patient, the surgical preparate will be examined with NanoEcho’s instrument. The result will then be compared with the pathologist’s final microscopic examination.

The Company is currently in a detailed stage of development of the next-generation system, with a clear commercial focus on market authorization. One of the objectives of the clinical development studies is to gain a comprehensive picture of the system's performance and get direct feedback. On completion of the two clinical development studies, the ambition is to have examined rectal cancer locations in every part of the rectum and in different stages with NanoEcho's system.

We look forward to starting the clinical development study also at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö this autumn. It is an important piece for us, to get a comprehensive picture of the system's performance and to get direct feedback to the ongoing detailed product development phase.”, says Linda Persson, CEO of NanoEcho.

NanoEcho and us4us have signed a letter of intent

NanoEcho has chosen the supplier us4us and started collaboration around the development and future manufacturing of the imaging device.

NanoEcho and us4us have signed a letter of intent and agreed to collaborate regarding the development of NanoEcho's imaging device, specifically the ultrasound scanner unit. The imaging device is aimed to be used at medical hospitals, as support in rectal cancer diagnostics, and will be CE-marked, according to the EU Medical Device Regulation.

us4us will be one of NanoEcho's key suppliers together with Vermon SA, who is the collaboration partner of the ultrasound probe. Both suppliers will, together with NanoEcho, develop the commercial system with the goal to fulfill market, manufacturing, and regulatory requirements of a commercial medical device.

us4us specializes in research and development, within the scope of medical and industrial applications of ultrasound, as well as the professional design of advanced electronic systems. The company supports its clients in the complete product development cycle: from basic research, through feasibility studies and product concept, to product development and its certification.

I am confident that us4us, with their strong expertise in medical ultrasound scanners and high flexibility, is the right collaboration partner in the development of our imaging device. I am very pleased to announce that we have signed this letter of intent, which outlines our collaboration towards a market approval of our imaging device. These two key suppliers, Vermon SA and us4us, build a solid foundation for the continued development of our diagnostic imaging device.”, says Linda Persson, CEO of NanoEcho.

A new Board has been appointed at NanoEcho – increased focus on commercialization

A new Board that reflects the Company's development has been appointed. The newly appointed Chairman is Daniel Johnsson, former CEO and founder of, among others, Exertis Nordics, now investor and advisor. A new member of the Company's Board is PhD and Business Coach Ann-Christin Malmborg Hager.

At the Annual General Meeting, NanoEcho elected Daniel Johnsson as Chairman of the Board. Daniel is a serial entrepreneur, former CEO and founder of Exertis Nordics (formerly known as CapTech Distribution), a profitable, fast-growing gazelle company that today is one of the Nordic region's largest distributors of IT, AV and multimedia products. Under the leadership of Daniel, the Company's sales grew from SEK 0 to 3 billion. Daniel currently works as an investor, board professional and advisor.

Also new to the Board is Ann-Christin Malmborg Hager, who has solid experience as CEO of development companies, most recently as CEO of PainDrainer and before that as CEO of SenzaGen for 5 years. Under the leadership of Ann-Christin, SenzaGen developed animal-free allergy testing, from an innovation to the Company entering the commercial stage and being listed on Nasdaq First North. Led by Ann-Christin, the Company's market capitalization increased from MSEK 5 to 500. Today, Ann-Christin works as a consultant and business coach for SmiLe Life Science Incubator.

Furthermore, the board members PhD Johannes Swartling, MBA BG Svensson, and Professor Tomas Jansson were re-elected.

The Company's Board is elected in view of the position shift that the Company has made, from being a research company to being a clear product development company. Today, the Company is fully focused on developing a product for commercialization.

“We are both happy and proud that Daniel has chosen to take on the role of Chairman of the Board of NanoEcho. We really look forward to sharing Daniel's knowledge, network and solid experience of building profitable companies.” – says Linda Persson, CEO of NanoEcho.

“I see great potential in NanoEcho's system and I really believe in the Company. I look forward to supporting them in the work of launching a product in the market that improves the quality of life for people affected by cancer." – says Daniel Johnsson, newly appointed Chairman of the Board of NanoEcho.

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