Hafnium Could Advance Cancer Research

by | 11. Jul 2023 - 12:24 | Knowledge, Applications

A French biotechnology company gets backing from pharma giant Johnson&Johnson. Nanotechnology set to improve effectiveness of radiation therapy.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson&Johnson (J&J) plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to license, develop, and distribute NBTXR3, a “radio enhancer” used in cancer treatment developed by Nanobiotix, according to a press release. Nanobiotix, which specializes in nanomedicine, aims to increase the efficiency of radiation therapy for cancer patients with the help of radio enhancers, which are nano-sized metal-based agents. To do so, it is using the radio enhancer NBTXR3, a nanoparticle made of hafnium oxide.

Nanobiotix, which is headquartered in Paris and operates globally, is currently researching the use of NBTXR3 in tumors, among other things, and is using it in trials to treat patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer, as well as lung cancer. The company hopes that its product can be marketed worldwide to “improve the lives of patients with cancer around the world” thanks to the license to develop and distribute NBTRX3 that has now been granted to pharmaceutical company J&J, according to Nanobiotix CEO Laurent Levy. Bart van Rhijn, the company’s chief financial officer, also expects NBTXR3 to be developed more quickly because of the collaboration, he said.

Also of interest: the use of hafnium in nanotechnology is nothing new: the raw material is used, among other things, to detect viruses – including in a new rapid test for monkeypox (we reported).

Photo: iStock/ peterschreiber.media

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