QV Bioelectronics Ltd – Developing innovative electrotherapies to treat brain cancer

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Supporting a start-up with technical expertise and facilties access for product development of a novel glioblastoma multiforme cancer treatment

Glioblastoma, the most common primary adult brain cancer, affects hundreds of thousands of patients annually worldwide. The treatment options for this aggressive type of brain tumour typically include a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. However, due to the cancer’s invasive nature, such conventional treatments are not effective. Less than 3% of patients survive more than 5 years from diagnosis, and the majority of patients survive less than a year.

In response, QV Bioelectronics Ltd is developing a pioneering electrotherapy implant for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme that aims to transform patient outcomes. This is taking the form of an implanted electrotherapy device designed to treat the cancer and extend patient survival. Safely delivering electrotherapy directly to the brain tissue for this application is extremely challenging and requires the use of advanced materials.

Royce Support

To support this critically important research, QV Bioelectronics applied for an Accelerator Token from the Henry Royce Institute to characterise the mechanical and chemical properties of materials used in their prototype devices. They were supported by Royce’s Business Development Team, who identified the Imaging and Characterisation facilities at The University of Manchester as being capable of collecting the necessary data.

While working with Royce’s skilled Experimental Officers, a number of possible techniques were identified including electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and X-ray photon spectroscopy.
The data collected have been used to optimise and guide future product development and is now being used by QV Bioelectronics to bring their device closer to the clinic.

QV Bioelectronics was supported by an initial Innovate UK SMART Grant  and supported by the Royce Imaging and Characterisation Facilities at The University of Manchester.

Our successful application to the Royce’s Accelerator Token Scheme’ has helped us understand the properties of our materials which played a key role in progressing our technology roadmap.”
The clinical outcomes for this type of brain tumour are lagging significantly behind the progress made for other types of cancers. This important research is helping us towards innovative approaches for much more effective treatment of brain tumours.

Dr Chris Bullock | Managing Director | QV Bioelectronics LTD