Development and testing of magnetic blood filter to treat severe malaria

Lead Participant: Medisieve Ltd


With 200 million cases a year, and the death of a child every minute, malaria remains one of
the world’s biggest problems. One issue is that patients get to hospital too late for drug
treatments to be effective, with mortality rates of up to 20% due to high parasite burdens. The
drugs are toxic, and can cause serious side-effects. The chances of survival and time to
recovery are both dependent on a patient’s parasitaemia when starting treatment. Furthermore,
resistance to front-line drugs, which has been catastrophic in the past, is again spreading in SE
Asia. There are no treatment options available to drug-resistant patients.
MediSieve is developing a novel medical device to treat malaria which could turn back the
clock for these patients by rapidly and safely reducing their parasitaemia. It is a ‘dialysis-like’
technique, continuously pumping a patient’s blood through a magnetic filter via an external
blood loop. In a single treatment, the filter captures and removes malaria infected red blood
cells from the bloodstream, using their distinct, naturally occurring magnetic properties; the
rest of the blood returns to the patient unharmed.
Primarily intended as a complement to drugs, the device can be used to treat any malaria
patient (including infants and pregnant women). Easy to use and cheap to manufacture, it
could have a significant impact on severe malaria mortality, and be a very valuable tool in the
fight against drug-resistance, as it can be used as a standalone treatment. Removing (rather
than killing) infected cells provides substantial clinical benefits over drug treatments,
improving outcomes.
This project will enable MediSieve to perform proof of concept safety testing of basic
prototypes appropriate for clinical use, to ensure that no harm is caused to healthy blood
components. These studies will enable the company to seek the necessary approvals to
perform the first-in-man clinical trials in 2016.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Medisieve Ltd, ASHFORD £182,773 £ 99,069


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