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Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2020-06-19 09:12
Department of Industrial Technology

[2020 Edison Awards] A New Star in Treatment to Fight Cancer: ITRI's iKNOBEADS Named a 2020 Edison Award Winner

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The iKNOBEADS manufacturing technology focuses on using magnetizing T cells to fight cancer more effectively.
After winning a 2019 R&D 100 Award, ITRI's iKNOBEADS, the world's only biomimetic knobby magnetic beads, have been named a 2020 Edison Award winner.  

The iKNOBEADS manufacturing technology focuses on using magnetizing T cells to fight cancer more effectively. Magnetic beads typically are involved in in vitro activation, which is a mainstream method presently used in immunotherapies. The commercially available magnetic beads are spherical. The iKNOBEADS, however, feature a unique spiky structure, enhancing the activation efficacy and expanding the number of T cells by a factor of 100. Meanwhile, the number of iKNOBEADS required is only one-third that of the magnetic beads currently on the market, and they can make dormant T cells come alive, have memory-like functions, and lead the fight against cancer cells. By modifying the surface of the magnetic beads, the iKNOBEADS technology can be applied to the activation and expansion of T cells, becoming the world's first and only magnetic bead product of this type and that offers this advantage.  

The research team is currently focused on therapies for hematological cancers, such as blood cancer, lymphoma, and bone cancer, and it has discussed cooperation with a number of local and foreign medical centers and biotech companies using iKNOBEADS manufacturing technology as a platform. ITRI hopes in the second half of 2020 to launch clinical GMP products. In the future, it is hoped that this technology will be applied in a variety of immunotherapies, and in particular to solid cancers. This will benefit even more patients and offer a new tool for the next generation of immunotherapies.