BBJ: Startup's Tech Matches Cancer Patients with Chemo, Drugs
Friday, June 2, 2017
By: Morgan Eichensehr, Baltimore Business Journal
A local startup wants to help doctors determine which drugs and chemotherapies will best treat different types of cancer. It's building a device that can do that.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park have granted Cellth Systems exclusive licensing rights for the commercial development of a technology that allows real-time analysis of how circulating tumor cells in a patient's blood respond to different drug treatments. The company has also won a $150,000 grant from Maryland Technology DevelopCorp. to push the technology toward commercialization.
Researchers from the Maryland universities have worked on the developing this technology and the science behind it for over a decade, said Cellth Systems CEO Richard Hughen. Now, Cellth has full rights to its prototype device that can employ the technology and screen tumor cells. To start, the company is just focusing on screening breast cancer cells.
"It's great to think about how valuable this would really be," Hughen said. "This would be a first-of-its-kind device with the ability to give an oncologist real, actionable information on how to help treat a cancer patient."
Phil Robilotto, chief commercialization officer at UM Ventures, said granting Cellth the licensing rights will help the company raise money and drive the technology forward. He said the license is the first step for Cellth to execute on a business plan that will hopefully result in a profitable commercial product.
The UM Ventures is a joint initiative between UMD and UMB designed to push research coming out of the universities toward becoming commercial technologies. Hughen has a background in medical device businesses and is one of UM Ventures' entrepreneurs in residence.
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