LightOx raises £1.5m to develop innovative treatment in the fight against oral cancer

LightOx raises £1.5m to develop innovative treatment in the fight against oral cancer

Deborah Nixon Carr

Jun 14 2024

LightOx Ltd a life sciences company based in Newcastle-based has just raised £1.5m worth of investment to support them in the work that could provide a ground-breaking treatment for patients suffering from early stage oral cancer.

The funds will assist the company in the development of LXD191, an oral gel that is activated by a light device that targets a serious pre-cancerous condition called oral epithelial dysplasia (OED). Current forms of treatment are typically invasive and painful. According to LightOx, existing treatments for this condition include removing tissue from the mouth. This can have a serious impact on 95% of patients. A staggering 50% of sufferers do not return to work post-treatment.

Northstar Ventures contributed to the current round alongside other existing investors. The round was led by GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura – a collaborative fund managed by Praetura Ventures and made up of Bruntwood SciTech, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The company are also exploring other uses within healthcare, such as wound care and bacterial infections. LightOx and have plans to launch another phase of clinical trials.

Commenting on this latest round of investment, Professor Carrie Ambler, Chief Scientific Officer at LightOx, said: “The new investment from the GMC Life Sciences Fund managed by Praetura and Northstar Ventures will enable us to finalise the pre-clinical data package over the next 12 months needed for us to advance our lead drug into clinical trials. We are thrilled to have new investment partners to support LightOx during this exciting phase of our drug programme.”

Alex Buchan, Investment Director at Northstar Ventures, added: “With oral cancer currently being ranked as the sixth most common, we see this as a really exciting new therapeutic. Northstar are very pleased to support LightOx in the vital work they are doing.”

Sim Singh-Landa, Investment Director at Praetura Ventures and Head of the GMC Life Sciences by Praetura, said: “The research and clinical tests the LightOx team are doing now could save and improve countless lives in the future as well as alleviate pressure on the NHS by treating OED at a much earlier stage. The Praetura team are looking forward to supporting LightOx as it enters this next phase of growth and clinical testing. Likewise, we are delighted that the business will be increasing its presence in Manchester and the North West, where there is a wealth of life sciences expertise.”

Related News