North East drug development company LightOx is set to ramp up work on a new treatment for cancer following a £400,000 investment.
Based in Newcastle city centre, LightOx uses new technologies to develop light activated treatment which can improve outcomes for patients and reduce the need for surgery.
The company is targeting a treatment for early stage and pre-cancerous lesions. It will use the initial six-figure sum from Northstar Ventures to help develop its product to revolutionise oral cancer treatment.
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The treatment could be used in the dentist chair, by applying a gel to the affected area and activating the drug with light, and it is exploring projects and applications that spread beyond oncology.
The investment, from the Northern Accelerator Seed Investment Fund, will help the Westgate Road-based company advance clinical trials and set up new laboratories in Newcastle.
The funds form part of a round which includes existing investors High Force Research, in Durham), and Meneldorm, based in the Netherlands, as well new investment from New Grounds VC based in London.
Sam Whitehouse, LightOx CEO, said: “Having had a challenging 18 months through the pandemic, we are delighted we have secured new investors to come alongside our existing shareholders and show how exciting our light-activated technology is and push our lead candidate towards the clinic.
“Light activated treatment can identify and target cancer cells, particularly in the case of oral cancer this can alleviate the need for invasive surgery.
“It also has the potential to be used in a wide range of therapeutic indications and application areas, which we’re very keen to develop.”
Alex Buchan, investment director at Northstar Ventures, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting LightOx in developing this potentially game changing technology.
“The impact this could have on people’s lives can’t be underestimated and we’re pleased to be part LightOx’s vision to bring this innovative solution to market across the world.”
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