Emerging Company in the Spotlight sponsored by JFK Communications.
BioNJ is pleased to shine the spotlight on one of our Innovation Members each month featuring their progress and work on behalf of Patients and their impact on the New Jersey life sciences ecosystem. This month’s Emerging Company in the Spotlight is Photocure.
So many of our Members are making a dramatic impact on our State’s innovation ecosystem. We celebrate you! Photocure is one such company.
Photocure is a world leader in photodynamic technology that strives to improve the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of people with bladder cancer. Photocure’s US headquarters are located in Princeton, NJ, and the company is a long time member of BioNJ.
“New Jersey is an ideal base for Photocure’s US operations because of its proximity and easy access to highly-skilled scientists, clinicians and commercialization experts,” said Ambaw Bellete, President, Photocure. “The life science ecosystem in New Jersey also provides central proximity to numerous academic, clinical and commercial life science organizations. We are also in proximity to New York and the global financial community. ” Mr. Bellete also serves on BioNJ’s Board of Trustees.
The strategic focus of Photocure is in the bladder cancer market. In the US, bladder cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer (fourth in men and ninth in women), with more than 550,000 people living with the disease. The US National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 79,960 new cases of bladder cancer and 16,390 bladder cancer related deaths in 2016. If detected at an early stage, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer can be successfully treated and has a relatively good prognosis. Nonetheless, up to 46% of bladder cancer patients will experience cancer recurrence at their first follow-up.
There are two types of bladder cancer, non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and muscle-invasive bladder cancer. NMIBC is most common — occurring in 75%-85% of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer. NMIBC is an early-stage disease that resides in the inner layer of cells of the bladder. Muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a more advanced disease that has grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall making the cancer more likely to spread into other organs and harder to treat.
Photocure’s product, Cysview, is a drug that is used with Blue Light Cystoscopy to improve the detection of NMIBC. Cysview is more rapidly absorbed by cancerous tissue and when the blue light cystoscope is used the tissue glows bright pink, indicating to the doctor an area that might be cancerous. Hence, BLCC improves the detection, management and treatment of NMIBC. It allows Urologist to more precisely resect the tumor and helps to reduce the chance of recurrence.
Photocure is dedicated to continuing research and development of existing technology to help stage and diagnose cancer.