Luna Innovations Receives Funding for Brain Cancer Diagnostic Agent Using Nanotechnology

(ROANOKE, VA, Oct 7, 2008) Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA) announces an award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve the detection and diagnosis of brain tumors. Under this program, Luna will adapt its exclusive contrast agent technology using carbon nanospheres to produce an improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agent. This next-generation contrast agent will be designed to enhance tumor imaging and advance the diagnosis and treatment of this disease by directing nanomolecules to seek out specific biological targets, such as a glioblastoma tumor, one specific form of brain cancer.

MRI is critical for the diagnosis and evaluation of many forms of brain and other cancers. "Primary malignant brain tumors cause 13,000 deaths in the United States annually and survival rates following therapeutic intervention are among the lowest compared to other cancers,” stated Robert Lenk, President of Luna’s nanoWorks division. “The work we are doing with NIH allows us the opportunity to build on our existing contrast agent platform of carbon nanomedicines and ultimately improve the detection and diagnosis of these high risk brain tumors."

source: Luna Innovatons

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