+ Contact

Neil Hayes
Commercial Manager
01392 723180

Photodynamic Therapy can help destroy pre-cancerous cells

Photosensitizer for use in Photo Dynamic Therapy

Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) uses light sensitive prodrugs to destroy certain types of cells such as Basal Cell Carinomas (BCC) and pre-cancerous conditions such as Barrett’s Oesophagus and Bowen disease.

We have developed a novel prodrug that acts faster and more sensitively than current prodrugs that are used clinically.

Key benefits

  • Early studies in human lung fibroblasts and epidermal carcinoma cells show that the AP218 is a better enhancer of PDT than the three commonly used prodrugs; Ala Mal and Hal.
  • Quicker treatment times would make the treatment more clinically useful.
  • Lower concentration of prodrug will lead to shorter light sensitivity post treatment.


  • Basal Cell carcinoma and other cancers of lung and lower intestinal tracts.
  • Treatment for Barrett’s Oesophagus, Bowen’s disease.
  • PDT is also used for treatments of Acne, Psoriasis and other skin treatments.

IP status

A patent has been filed for the prodrug AP218 (PCT/GB2013/052297).

Commercial opportunity

This is a novel drug but the components have established safety profiles in humans.

A small pre-clinical study will be needed to demonstrate this. It should be feasible to carry out the preclinical and clinical studies needed within three years.

The University is keen to discuss potential partnerships with a view to collaborations or commercial licensing opportunities