Tumor Technology and ER Device Win Venture Awards

Posted: Updated:
LoDos Theranostics says its therapy deploys low-energy ultraviolet light within the tumor. LoDos Theranostics says its therapy deploys low-energy ultraviolet light within the tumor.

Conventional cancer treatment methods use radiation to shrink tumors from the outside, but a West Lafayette-based startup says its technology can attack tumors from within, delivering better results without the common damaging side effects of radiation. LoDos Theranostics captured top prize at the recent New Venture Competition during the Indiana Life Sciences Summit, followed by Jeffersonville-based Inscope Medical Solutions; the startup is launching its product nationally to clear the airways for emergency room patients.

The sixth annual competition, led by Indiana life sciences initiative BioCrossroads, has awarded more than $300,000 to 20 startups, leading to about $26.5 million in follow-up funding.

Purdue University researcher Dr. You-Yeon Won says about one million cancer patients receive radiation annually in the U.S., and chemotherapy drugs are very toxic, even if administered to the tissue locally. Based on discoveries in his lab, LoDos Theranostics is developing an alternative method called radio luminescence therapy. LoDos Theranostics management team member Tim Parshall says traditional radiation treatment uses high-energy X-rays, for example, to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells, but the startup deploys low-energy ultraviolet light within the tumor.

“You can use [ultraviolet light] on frail and elderly patients who don’t tolerate radiation very well; ultraviolet light is much, much less damaging,” says Parshall. “And up to 50 percent of tumors have some degree of radio resistance; you have to treat them with so much [radiation], it does really terrible things. That doesn’t happen with ultraviolet light.”

The technology involves injecting Radio-Luminescent Nano Particles directly into the tumor, restricting the radiation to the area of the tumor, rather than damaging surrounding tissue.

“You radiate [the tumor] like a normal X-ray, but [the Nano Particles] give off ultraviolet light from the inside—so they light up on the inside. That destroys the tumor deep inside,” says Parshall. “You’re actually getting the ability now to administer a known therapy deep inside the body, which we haven’t been able to do before. That’s what makes it so exciting.”  

The startup says the $25,000 in prize money will help attract more funding for additional pre-clinical work, but the first-place ribbon carries other significance.

“[Winning the competition] is an endorsement that [the technology] is not just a good idea, but that other people in this space see it as a good idea,” says Parshall. “Feedback at this stage is so important; you need to have folks look at it with a critical eye.”

Second place winner Inscope Medical Solutions echoes the sentiment that validation from experts is as valuable as the $15,000 in runner-up prize money.

“Often, we walk into a group of general investors whose knowledge of the medical device industry and science is somewhat limited,” says Inscope Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Maggie Galloway. “It’s fantastic to present to investors who really know the medical device and life sciences space; they can ask critical questions and understand what we do.”

Galloway says the Inscope Direct device helps physicians intubate trauma patients, a procedure in which a breathing tube is inserted through the mouth into the trachea to help the patient breathe effectively. Galloway says studies have shown the device reduces the time of intubation by 45 percent—a significant stat in the ER, where seconds matter.

The startup is now launching its device nationally at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly after a limited release over the summer.

“We’re excited to get this device into the hands of as many clinicians as we possibly can to be able to save lives,” says Galloway. “It’s a huge milestone for us to announce this device to the world [at the Assembly].”  

Indiana Lysis Technologies won the third place $10,000 prize. Buoyed by the prize money and exposure during the event, BioCrossroads is hopeful the handful of promising startups will mature into successful companies that will fuel the next generation of growth in Indiana's life sciences industry.

Parshall says the technology delivers the benefits of radiation without the damaging side effects.
LoDos Theranostics management team member Gary Noonan says the startup is looking to collect more feedback from potential investors.
Galloway says the competition is an important funding boost and networking opportunity.
  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Bosma Enterprises)

      Making a Difference Through Meaningful Employment

      Imagine facing a 70 percent unemployment rate. That is the challenge people who are blind or visually impaired are up against when trying to find employment. And it is why Bosma Enterprises' mission to create opportunities is so important. The Governor’s Council designates each March as Disability Awareness Month to promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people who have disabilities. As the state’s largest employer of people who are blind or...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Amazon Effect: How Big is The Economic Impact?

      Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, increased his net worth by $6.44 billion dollars just by saying a few words. He announced the company's earnings on October 26, 2017, and Amazon stock jumped 8 percent. How are you impacted by the Amazon Effect?

    • Jenni White

      Trinity Haven Hires First Employee

      Trinity Haven has named Jenni White executive director. She most recently served as vice president of mission impact at Coburn Place. White has also worked in various capacities with the Damien Center and Leadership Evansville. She is active with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Indianapolis Continuum of Care.

    • Photo courtesy of 410 Bakery

      Hoosier Bakery Makes Top 7 Gas Station Conversion List

      A Hoosier bakery has been recognized as one of “America’s 7 Most Beautiful Gas Station Conversions” by Architectural Digest. 410 Bakery in New Albany launched in 2016 as a full retail bakery in what was previously the Economy Filling Station. 

    • New Indiana State President Confirmed

      The Indiana State University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved Deborah Curtis as the school's 12th president. Curtis, currently the provost and chief learning officer at the University of Central Missouri, will begin her new role in January.

    • Bose Public Affairs Promotes Sorvig to VP

      Bose Public Affairs Group LLC has promoted Rachel Sorvig to vice president. She joined the firm in 2012 and most recently served as public relations director. Sorvig previously served as communications director for the office of Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, where she managed communications for the Lt. Governor’s office and five additional state agencies including those responsible for agriculture and energy policy.