University of Coimbra “Spin-off” develops anti-cancer medicine2010-12-09 in Diário de Coimbra
Positive testing in animals came to confirm the enormous potential of the photodynamic therapy in the treatment of several types of cancer. A new spin-off of the University of Coimbra, Luzitin, will lead the development of a safer and more effective drug using photodynamic therapy for the treatment of cancer, according to the licensing and funding agreements signed yesterday.
These two agreements were celebrated between the University of Coimbra, pharmaceutical company Bluepharma, Luzitin and INOVCapital, under whose terms Luzitin is assigned the responsibility of developing the new medicine from the research conducted by scientists of the University of Coimbra on the field of photodynamic therapy.
Spin-off stands for a new entity created to explore new products or services of an innovative or technological base, springing from ideas or processes developed in another pre-existing organization, such as a university, which supports the development of such new entity.
«After validating the technical concept and following the success observed in the first animal testing rounds, which confirmed the enormous potential of this technology for the treatment of several cancerous diseases, the process will enter a decisive stage of the end purpose, which is to come up with a safer and more effective medicine when compared to the presently used in this type of therapy”, according to a University of Coimbra press release.
Sérgio Simões, President of Luzitin’s board and also a researcher affiliated with the University of Coimbra, told Agência Lusa that the aim is to become capable of licensing the new technology to other companies in three years.
“The development of this medicine, which will hopefully contribute towards an increase of the life expectancy and quality of living of the cancer patients, will be the culmination of the hard work initiated by a group of researchers of the Chemistry Department of the UC’s Faculty of Sciences and Technology”, may also be read in the statement. The photodynamic therapy introduces many advantages when compared to the conventional forms of treatment, namely a guided action and reduced side effects.
The launch ceremony took place at UC’s Museum of Science. The University Dean, Prof. Seabra Santos, emphasized that “this is a research University”, while also acknowledging the contribution provided by key partners such as Coimbra’s City Hall, the University Hospitals and the Regional Development and Coordination Committee.