Cell ProTx is a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company developing new treatments to protect human cells and tissue from damage. The company is addressing areas of significant unmet medical need in oncology by reducing the incidence of collateral damage to healthy tissue in the vicinity of tumours undergoing radiotherapy.
Our initial focus is in the development of a product that will inhibit the formation of oral mucositis in patients undergoing treatment for head and neck cancers. However, the company's technology platform is expected to have much broader application in the treatment of gastrointestinal and pulmonary damage from radiation exposure.
To achieve these objectives we are advancing a programme of work on novel compounds that are optimised to block the formation of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed as a result of the interaction of radiation with water molecules in the tissue. ROS formation is an initiating factor in a cascade of downstream events that leads to free radical-mediated cell damage, inflammatory responses and eventual tissue destruction with the development of ulcerative lesions.
Cell ProTx is capitalising on its extensive knowledge base in the field of free radical biology and redox chemistry to establish a molecular platform that acts in the earliest stages to protect against radiation damage, rather than developing treatments that seek to repair damage once this has occurred, or simply provide symptomatic relief to the patient.
Radiation-induced oral mucositis
Erythematous and ulcerative lesions of the mouth that can develop following initiation of radiotherapy of tumours in proximity to the oral cavity.
Possible side effects
• Discomfort or pain
• Affects quality of life
• Compromises nutritional status
• Potential secondary infections
• Often limits radiation dose
Approximately 13,000 people are diagnosed annually with head and neck cancers in the UK. 50 - 60% will undergo radiotherapy of which over 80% will develop oral mucositis. Annual incidence in the EU and US combined is 160,000 people