A startup hoping to improve radiation therapy in cancer patients is looking to raise up to $7.5 million for its targeted oxygen delivery technology.
Omniox Inc. is developing proteins that could bind to oxygen and carry it to tissues throughout the body intended for use in cancer, surgical and cardiovascular markets.
The company has already rounded up $1 million from 20 investors, according to a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. CEO Stephen Cary did not return a call today for more details on the financing and technology.
Research has demonstrated that tumor hypoxia — a lack of oxygen in tissue — can make tumors grow faster and reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation. Trying to deliver oxygen to tumors has been a challenge for the research community, as therapeutics that mimic hemoglobin, the body’s oxygen carrier, can have toxic effects on the body. Omniox is focused on refining a tunable, minimally toxic solution that isn’t based on hemoglobin.
According to the San Francisco Business Times, Omniox was running proof-of-concept brain cancer and heart attack studies in mice late last year. Technology Review reported that the company planned to begin tests in human patients next year.
The radiation therapy market has seen double-digit growth over the past decade, according to Koncept Analytics, and is dominated by Varian, Elekta and Siemens.