Project to develop phototherapy method for skin and oral cancer

The project focuses on phototherapy treatments to target removal of skin and oral cancer cells.

The Center for Process Innovation (CPI; Wilton, England) and LightOx (Wynyard, England) have entered into a project partnership to advance the development of next-generation cancer treatment using phototherapy. The project focuses on light-based treatments to target removal of skin and oral cancer cells. CPI is supporting LightOx to develop a range of molecular tools for use in imaging, therapeutics, and assay development, enabling cell imaging, detection, tracking, and tagging of bioactive molecules, with these tags imaged using fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy.

The probes bypass the traditional problems associated with fluorescent probes, as they simplify delivery into the cell and minimally disrupt cell activity prior to light activation. The technology is also able to target therapeutic action to particular body sites using a simple delivery system that enables instant treatment and cell death of selected cells and tissues without damage to healthy cells, minimizing side effects for patients.

CPI's expert healthcare photonics team has supported the progression of LightOx's molecular technology through the optical analysis of the company's fluorescent drugs, allowing a greater understanding and informing product development. Complementing this analysis, Durham University helped produce a prototype controllable, calibrated, light delivery system to allow the company to validate their new compounds.

"CPI provided LightOx with a first-generation light box that enabled us to select leading drug candidates to progress through the therapeutic development pipeline," says Dr. Carrie Ambler, LightOx's chief scientific officer. "Following successful selection, we now expect our lead candidates through the preclinical evaluation aiming for Phase 1 starting in 2020/2021."

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