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Luzitin will lead the development of a drug for cancer treatment, as a result of a partnership between UC and Bluepharma

09.12.2010 in Coimbra Empreendedor

The new product was created for photodynamic therapy use and is expected to be about 100 times more effective than the existing ones

The University of Coimbra (UC), Bluepharma and InovCapital signed on a technology licensing and financing agreement with Luzitin7th October. The objective is the development of a pre-clinical and clinical drug to use in photodynamic therapy, whose current results indicate towards an increase of about 100 times more in terms of efficacy as well as an increased safety and convenience of application, when compared other products of this sort currently available. It is expected that the development of this drug will contribute to an increase in life expectancy and the quality of life in cancer patients: photodynamic therapy has many advantages, including low toxicity, a targeted action and reduced side effects. To start the clinical trials in humans, after validating the technical concept and animal experiments, UC and Bluepharma will transfer the knowledge produced to Luzitin, a new technology-based spin-off born within the University.

When available, the new drug will be administered to the patient and then 'activated' by an infrared radiation laser, leading to the death of cancer cells. It will then be possible to obtain a more effective therapeutic solution with fewer side effects than what is currently being achieved by the existing drugs. This will be the culmination of a process initiated in the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology at UC, where a group of researchers has been developing new substances to enable the effectiveness of the compounds used in photodynamic therapy for cancer treatment. Aware of the importance of the social and economic results achieved with this project, the UC decided in 2004 to protect the results of this effort through a patent application, starting immediately the process of searching for partners interested in its potential.