Luzitin's patent wins the Invention of the Decade Award
Luzitin’s patent linked to the development of new compounds to improve the efficiency of photodynamic therapy in the treatment os cancer was distinguished with the INVENTA award in the health area. It was additionally considered the most prominent Portuguese invention of the last decade, having been considered the absolute winner among the 15 finalists.
The prize is an initiative of the National Institute for Industrial Property and intends to recognize and promote the best inventions of Portuguese origin, in key strategic areas for the development of the economy and of national competitiveness.
The research conducted at the Chemistry Department of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, under coordination of Professors Luis Arnaut, Mariette Pereira, Sebastião Formosinho and Carlos Monteiro and with the contribution of researcher and Professor Sérgio Simões led to the discovery and development of compounds 100 times more efficient than the medicines currently being used in photodynamic therapy. This allowed for an increase in the safety and comfort in its application.
The process undergone to protect the results obtained from the research in question dates back to 2004, when upon realizing the social and economic importance of such results, the University of Coimbra, registered the patent and began searching for partners that would be interested in its potential.
In 2006, the University of Coimbra and Bluepharma, which was from early on identified as an ideal partner for this challenge, began a process of valorization of the obtained knowledge. In 2010, this and another patent that was in the meantime submitted were the basis for a technology licensing and funding agreement with Luzitin. The company is set to lead the next development stage of this promising research project on the treatment of cancer. The goal is that the development of this medicine contributes toward the increase in the life expectancy and quality of life of cancer patients: photodynamic therapy offers several advantages, namely low toxicity levels, a targeted action and reduced secondary effects.