LightCap Technology Platform

A Novel Drug Discovery Paradigm with Photopharmacology

Lumento's technology is based on the Nobel Prize winning science of professor Ben Feringa. We apply our industry-leading expertise in photopharmacology to discover and develop innovative oncology drugs that can be activated with light. We use our LightCap Technology (LCT) Platform to create novel light-activatable cancer drugs based on compounds that have established pharmacological profiles, including previously researched and approved drugs. Local light-activation of cancer drugs at the tumor site can potentially improve safety and efficacy as compared to treatment with standard cancer drugs.

Small molecule drugs with established pharmacological activity are inactivated by attachment of a LightCap (photoprotective group) to the active site of the drug. Subsequently, the drug and the LightCap are uncoupled with specific wavelengths of light, thereby locally re-activating the desired pharmacological properties of the drug only at the tumor site. 

LCT Platform

Our LCT Platform is unlike standard methods of drug discovery. Because our approach begins with approved cancer drugs, we avoid some of the lengthy processes and high failure rates that accompany regular drug discovery and development. We prioritize candidate compounds based on the unmet medical needs of patients, commercial opportunity, regulatory considerations, competitive landscape and strategic business fit. 

Our approach aims to enable drug discovery and development that is highly impactful while also being more efficient and less expensive than conventional small molecule drug development. Because of our significant experience at Lumento Therapeutics, we are well positioned to efficiently select compounds that benefit from photoprotection and create optimally-designed photoprotected candidate compounds for our pipeline.

We apply our LCT Platform to identify previously studied compounds, including approved drugs, that we believe can be improved with photoprotection. The advantages of adding light-activation properties to drug compounds include:

  • Localized activation of cancer drugs at the tumor site. Compounds that are photoprotected with a LightCap can be activated at the tumor site, allowing for a high local dose while avoiding systemic off-target effects. We have shown in vitro Proof of Concept with a cancer drug by selectively treating individual cancer cells. We now aim to demonstrate in vivo Proof of Concept of local activation of photoprotected compounds and pursue preclinical development of several photoprotected anti-cancer drugs. Importantly, light delivery in various organs has been clinically proven feasible by photodynamic therapy and laser ablation with systems like the Medtronic Visualase.

  • Improved safety profile. Local activation of photoprotected anti-cancer drugs can drastically reduce the severe side effects that accompany treatment with standard anti-cancer drugs. These side effects result from systemic off-target effects that can be minimized by local light-induced activation.

  • Increased therapy efficacy. The severe side effects of anti-cancer drugs resulting from systemic off-target effects are often dose-limiting. With the improved safety profile of photoprotected anti-cancer drugs a higher local dose can be achieved, potentially resulting in increased efficacy of treatment. Alternatively, at a standard dose, the treatment cycles could be intensified with reduced recovery times.

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