Fairport Company Honored for Cancer Screening Technology
by Doug Emblidge |. Thursday, January 14th, 2021
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Rochester, N.Y. — The people who work at a local startup company are celebrating a big honor, a recognition for work they hope will be a game changer for cancer patients.
Working in a biotech startup means taking a leap of faith, often working for free, and being fueled by the hope that it will all pay off.
Just last week, Sanatela Medical employees moved scientific equipment into the company's new Fairport facility. And on Thursday, the industry group MedTech named Sanatela the newcomer of the year.
"What MedTech said is, 'We believe Sanatela is not just surviving, they're exceling. They've built a team from five to 20, they've leased a manufacturing space, they've bought equipment, and we believe they're the newcomer of the year,'" said Erin Crowley Ellis. "And we believe we will be the game changer of the oncology industry."
She started Sanatela two years ago with her dad, Mike Crowley. The company takes scientific research to the marketplace - in this case, technology called the Sanatela Matrix. It's a screening tool to isolate, then target, cancer stem cells.
"You kill the cancer stem cells, you eliminate cancer," she explained.
The Sanatela team believes its technology will show oncologists which chemotherapy drugs will be most effective for an individual patient. Money's being raised for a clinical trial, then capital thorough selling stock.
It's still a startup, but with high hopes for a big finish.
"I think the awareness of cancer stem cells isn't prolific enough and one of our main missions is that people find out, what is a cancer stem cell? What could happen if we target and kill it? Can we eliminate metastasis once and for all? Can we truly be on a pathway to cure cancer?"
One interesting side note about the technology: it uses a substance from donated umbilical cords collected after live healthy births. So local moms and babies could be playing a role in getting the Sanatela Matrix off the ground.