Halifax, Nova Scotia–(Newsfile Corp. – May 9, 2019) – Sona Nanotech Inc.’s (CSE: SONA) mission to advance medical diagnostics took a step forward today with the announcement of a collaboration with the University of Birmingham in the UK to develop next generation nanorods for tissue imaging.
The goal of the project, which is being led by Zoe Pikramenou, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Photophysics at the University of Birmingham, is to investigate whether gold nanorods can eventually be used to target cancer cells in the human body.
The first step will be the creation of luminescent nanorods by functionalising gold nanorods provided by Sona with transition metals using technology created by Professor Pikramenou’s team.
Professor Pikramenou said: “The scientific community is only just beginning to explore the exciting potential of gold nanoparticles in medical applications such as diagnostics, drug delivery and cancer treatment. With its unique CTAB-free gold nanorods, Sona Nanotech has produced an innovative next-generation product that is ideally suited for these applications, which is why we have such high hopes for this collaborative project.”
Professor Pikramenou runs an interdisciplinary research programme on Photophysics in Nanoscience and Biomolecular Chemistry using supramolecular design and synthesis, coordination chemistry, luminescence spectroscopy and imaging.
Professor Pikramenou and her team will establish the functionalisation with metal complexes, examine the imaging in cells and tissue to evaluate differences in uptake with conventional nanoparticles and evaluate the attachment of antibodies for specific targeting of cancer tissues using techniques established in the group.
Sona Nanotech CEO Darren Rowles said: “This collaboration, with an internationally-renowned professor at a leading global university, demonstrates the high level of interest in Sona’s innovative technology. We are delighted to be working with Zoe and her team and are excited to see what we can achieve together.”
Compared to other gold nanoparticles, gold nanorods have several advantages, including high surface area, unique physical, chemical and optical properties, biocompatibility and the ability to be conjugated with other molecules.
This enables them to be used in more efficient drug targeting and delivery and enhanced bio-imaging, which is driving market demand. The global gold nanoparticles market is anticipated to reach USD $1.52 billion by 2026 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% from 2018 to 2026. 
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It is expected that the number of new cases of cancer per year will rise to 23.6 million by 2030. This alarming rise demands cutting edge research to develop targeted therapy for treatment of various kinds of cancer. 
Corporate board update
Sona Nanotech Inc. held its Annual General and Special Meeting of shareholders in Halifax on April 25, at which shareholders elected five people to serve as Directors of the company for the forthcoming year.
Chairman of the Board Jim Megann and Director A. Neil Smith decided not to re-offer to serve as Board members. Sona Nanotech Inc. would like to put on record its sincere thanks to Mr Megann and Mr Smith for their service. Mr Megann was a long-serving director of Sona Nanotech and Mr Smith served through the merger between Stockport Exploration Inc. and Sona.
Wade Dawe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Numus Financial Inc. and the President of Brigus Capital Inc., and Michael Gross, Professor of Orthopaedic surgery at Dalhousie University, were subsequently elected as Directors.
Mr. Dawe is an accomplished entrepreneur, financier and investor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During his career, he has completed deals valued in excess of $1 billion, and he has founded or co-founded a number of successful companies, both public and private. Mr. Dawe is the Chairman and CEO of Numus Financial Inc. and President of Brigus Capital Inc. In addition, Mr. Dawe is CEO and a Board Member of Torrent Capital Ltd., and serves as Chairman of the Board for Pivot Technology Solutions Inc.
Dr. Gross has extensive capital markets experience, having served as either an executive or as a director with a number of venture stage companies. Dr. Gross was a founder of Linear Gold, Linear Metals and stayed through the development of the company to Brigus Gold before its sale to Primero. He is now a board member of Fortune Bay. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Boomerswork, a startup company working to provide a platform of benefits for Boomers as they transition from work to retirement.
About Sona Nanotech Inc.
Sona Nanotech Inc. is a nanotechnology life sciences firm that has developed two proprietary methods for the manufacture of rod-shaped gold nanoparticles. The principal business carried out and intended to be continued by Sona is the development and application of its proprietary technology for use in multiplex diagnostic testing platforms that will improve performance over existing tests in the market.
Sona’s gold nanorod particles are CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) free, eliminating the toxicity risks associated with the use of other gold nanorod technologies in medical applications. It is expected that Sona’s gold nanotechnologies may be adapted for use in applications, as a safe and effective delivery system for multiple medical treatments, pending the approval of various regulatory boards including Health Canada and the FDA.
Sona is a publicly listed company on the Canadian Securities Exchange existing under the laws of Nova Scotia, with its operations in Nova Scotia.
About Prof Zoe Pikramenou
Zoe Pikramenou runs an active interdisciplinary research programme on Photophysics in Nanoscience and Biomolecular Chemistry using supramolecular design and synthesis, coordination chemistry, luminescence spectroscopy and imaging.
The research area has received an internationally recognised profile with invited lectures at international and national congresses covering a breadth of chemical areas, publications in leading internationally scientific journals.
She has worked on international collaborations with leading scientists in interdisciplinary projects involving chemistry, physics and chemical engineering, medical and computer sciences. She has received research grants from EPSRC, MRC, Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society for developing programmes on supramolecular wires, luminescent nanoparticles in biology and EPSRC Discipline Hopping Awards with Chemical Engineering, which fostered research in nanoparticle detection in liquid flows.
For More Information
For more information about Sona, please contact:
President and Chief Executive Officer
+1 (902) 880-9925
Email: Darren Rowles email@example.com
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