Today, cancer surgery is frequently unsuccessful. For example, 1 in 4 prostate cancer patients will have cancer left behind after surgery. The high failure rate of cancer surgery is for the simple reason that surgeons do not have any way to detect cancer during surgery. The consequences are enormous including repeat operations, additional post-surgical treatment, worse survival outcomes, and increased healthcare costs.
Lightpoint Medical has developed a groundbreaking intra-operative molecular imaging technology to detect cancer during surgery. The technology is based on a recent discovery that PET imaging agents also emit an optical signal called Cerenkov Luminescence. This discovery has enabled Lightpoint to develop a portable molecular imaging scanner compact enough to be brought into the operating room. The lower cost also makes Lightpoint’s technology ideal for low-resource settings. The technology is applicable across a wide number of major cancer indications including stomach, colorectal, breast, prostate and lung cancer. Real-time detection of cancer during surgery will bring substantial health economic savings by reducing repeat operations, freeing-up operating room capacity, and reducing additional post-surgical treatment.
The company is supported by more than $7M in non-dilutive grant funding, $4M in equity funding led by Oxford Technology, and more than $1M from NHS England. Lightpoint’s lead product LightPath™ will be launched in summer 2015.