In December 2014, Lightpoint Medical successfully raised £989,998 to bring its two lead products, LightPath™ and EnLight™, to the EU and US markets.
The greatest issue in cancer surgery today is that there is no straightforward way to find cancer during surgery. Surgeons are initially guided by diagnostic scans, but surprisingly they still use their sense of touch to identify cancerous tissue once in theatre. As a result, cancer is frequently left behind during a first procedure, and so the patient needs to return for follow-up surgery. In the UK, 1 in 4 patients undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer require a second operation and 1 in 4 prostate cancer patients have cancer left behind after surgery.
Lightpoint Medical has developed a ground-breaking, proprietary imaging technology that can find cancer in real time during surgery. The technology enables optical imaging of diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals, thereby combining the advantages of optical imaging and diagnostic nuclear medicine, which uses radioactive material to diagnose or treat diseases. Real-time imaging of cancer will help surgeons remove cancerous tissue during an operation, reducing the need for repeat operations.
Lightpoint has two products: LightPath™, a stationary camera for imaging resected tumours, and EnLight™, a hand-held fibre-optic camera for imaging the surgical region.
Where are they now?
Clinical trials are ongoing in breast cancer surgery (Guy’s Hospital London), prostate cancer (University College London), and stomach cancer (Semmelweis University). Additionally, clinical trials are also planned and already funded in lymph node assessment (Royal Free Hospital) and gynaecologic cancers (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA).
Since raising through SyndicateRoom, Lightpoint has expanded its board of directors, secured a £1 million contract with NHS England and received a $2.6 million R01 grant from the US National Cancer Institute to support clinical trials for EnLight™. Following this, in August 2015 the company signed a global manufacturing agreement with PartnerTech to build, test and distribute its molecular imaging system, LightPath™.
Lightpoint has been featured in Healthcare in Europe, and won 'Best Crowdfunded & Angel Investment' at the 2015 UKBAA Awards. The company has since expanded its Board of Directors.