MediSieve, the company behind a revolutionary magnetic sieve that filters out malaria-infected cells directly from a patient’s bloodstream, is developing new methods to fight leukaemia.

Following the successful development of its magnetic filter device, which will soon move into clinical trials, MediSieve’s experts are now beginning research into the treatment of other life-threatening blood diseases using magnetic particles to target specific disease-causing components in blood.

Founder and CEO of MediSieve, Dr George Frodsham, said: “We have always been developing a platform technology to target a wide range of blood-borne diseases. We recently announced our plans to target sepsis and now I’m very excited to share our work against leukaemia, too.”

However, the task of removing leukaemia cells from the bloodstream poses complex challenges in comparison to the treatment of malaria. Malarial cells are naturally magnetic, which means when a patient’s blood is passed through the MediSieve magnet and filtration devices, they can be removed.

The challenge with leukaemia, and with sepsis, is to develop “targeted magnetic particles” that can capture those types of infected cells, which do not have the same magnetic properties as malaria.

To overcome that challenge, MediSieve has recruited an expert on magnetic particles, Dr Cristina Blanco Andujar. Dr Blanco joins MediSieve as the Product Development Manager to lead the leukaemia and sepsis projects, focusing particularly on the development of the magnetic particles required.

Dr Blanco said: “I am incredibly passionate about what we’re trying to do here at MediSieve, and I believe that by collaborating with experts in our field we will be able to reach our goals.”

According to MediSieve, leukaemia currently affects more than 200,000 people between Europe and the United States ­– combining sufferers of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and acute myeloid leukaemia, the two types of leukaemia that the MediSieve treatment is expected to be the most effective on.

Its product, planned to be ready in 2021 after clinical trials, is intended to be used before a patient receives chemotherapy to improve both the drugs’ effectiveness and reduce its side effects, some of which can be fatal.

Since the company’s launch in 2015, Dr Frodsham and the team at MediSieve have

  • reached the final round of MassChallenge UK 2016, the global non-profit startup accelerator and competition for high-impact, early stage entrepreneurs
  • secured £350,000 in seed funding from angel investors with expertise in the medical device and healthcare industries – they include leading patent attorneys, former CEOs and successful entrepreneurs in the field
  • received a Pathfinder Award from the Wellcome Trust – this provided MediSieve with £102,000 to fund a 12-month project to manufacture and test clinical prototypes of its device
  • won an Innovate UK Smart 2015/16 Proof of Concept Award grant worth £100,000
  • received a €50,000 SME Instrument grant from the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme
  • taken the runner-up spot at Pitch@Palace 5.0. held at St. James’s Palace, London; the event saw UK entrepreneurs pitch to around 300 CEOs, angel investors, mentors and key business partners
  • presented at the Royal Society of Medicine’s 12th Medical Innovations Summit
  • been featured in The Telegraph and many other major journals and publications.