About Us

Our Background

The life and work of physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was a significant inspiration for the founders of Bio Farmag Limited; a contribution recognised in the company name. His attitude towards scientific discovery reflects the importance of maintaining an open mind to achieve scientific breakthroughs.

Enrico Fermi made a major contribution to advancing the science of high-energy particle physics. To him this was the most exciting area of physics.

Fermi did most of his early work in Italy, and in 1938 received the Nobel Prize for "his discovery of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for the discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons." After leaving Europe, Fermi continued his research at the University of Chicago, concentrating on nuclear and elementary particle physics.

He was heavily involved in the design of the synchrocyclotron at the University of Chicago, which was at the time, one of the most powerful 'atom smashers' in the world.

The magnitude of the impact that Fermi made to the science of particle physics can be gauged from the number of terms in this science named after him. These include the fermi (also called a femtometer, 10[-15] metres), the Fermi energy, Fermi gases and liquids, Fermions and the Fermi surface.

Like all visionaries, Fermi was able to predict future developments in his field. Fermi accurately predicted the synchrotrons of today, speculating that giant accelerators would be built in the future. Apparently, he even dreamed of a particle accelerator that would be located at the equator and encircle the globe!


Our Development

The Bio Farmag® test for breast cancer utilizes X-rays generated by a synchrotron. The work of Enrico Fermi helped to establish synchrotron technology.

The discovery that X-ray diffraction analysis of hair using synchrotron-generated X-rays can reveal the presence of breast cancer in a person, was first published in 1999 by an Australian scientist and her colleagues. This discovery demonstrated that by using a technique known as X-ray diffraction, a hair from an individual with breast cancer exhibits a difference in its molecular structure compared to that of an individual without breast cancer. The test involves cutting hair from the scalp and then exposing that hair to a finely focused X-ray beam. The diffracted X-rays are collected as an image, which is then analysed to determine if subtle changes are present in the image that are indicative of the presence of breast cancer. This difference is visible in the X-ray diffraction pattern as a ring superimposed on the pattern for normal hair.

Considerable work by many scientists since then has been undertaken. Over 500 samples collected specifically for breast cancer have shown the accuracy of the technique. The findings from these trials have been published in the respected international scientific journals, Nature and the International Journal of Cancer.

The unique advantages of the Bio Farmag® test are its non-invasive nature: little or no discomfort and suitable for women of all ages.

By providing a potential early detection test for breast cancer, the Bio Farmag® test could assist early treatment. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment once the presence of a tumour is confirmed by further diagnostic procedures, such as mammography, ultrasound or biopsy.

Bio Farmag is conducting a validation trial in conjunction with some of the leading radiology groups in Australia prior to introducing the Bio Farmag® test to the market.


Innovator of the Year

In January, 2008, six State finalists from across Australia travelled to New York City to promote their business’ cutting edge innovation to the U.S. marketplace by competing in the G'day USA Innovation Shoot Out.

The Austrade event is a national showcase promoting Australia’s leading research and technology companies. Bio Farmag was selected to represent New South Wales and presented to a panel of judges and a room of 150 American & Australian guests. 

Bio Farmag was awarded this year's Innovator of the Year. Bio Farmag also received a prize package that included consultation services provided by Austrade, an invitation to participate in the ANZA Technology Network Gateway to the US program 2008 and public relations services provided by DatelineMedia USA.

Bio Farmag believes that the innovation competition success is a powerful international endorsement for their technology. The quality of the companies in the competition was outstanding and it was an honour to win. The Bio Farmag Test potentially offers significant benefits for women’s health in the fight against breast cancer, as it is non-invasive and suitable for women of all ages.



Enrico Fermi

Fig.1.1 'There are two possible outcomes. If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you have made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you have made a discovery!'

- Enrico Fermi [1901 - 1954]