Porphysomes are a platform technology based on lipid molecules that form porphysome nanoparticles, with versatile applications including cancer imaging, phototherapy, and drug delivery. Porphysome nanoparticles have the unique ability to be loaded with drugs, such as chemotherapeutics or immunotherapy agents, and have properties that make them ideal for both targeted photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photo-immune stimulation. Porphysomes are also capable of fluorescence, which enables more precise, targetted tumor treatment.They also selectively accumulate in cancer tissue and release photoenergy when a specific laser light is directed at the tumor, which means they can selectively ablate malignant tissue. Additionally, porphysomes can be modified with heavy metals to facilitate PET imaging.

The FDA approved the only photosensitizer agent available in the US for internal solid tumors in 1995.  While this agent has been proven to be effective in both early and late-stage cancers, the major limitations are severe skin photosensitivity that can last >30 days and the inability to fluoresce cancer cells. Porphysomes represent an advanced generation of photosensitizers with minimal expected side effects and additional capabilities, such as enhanced tumor detection and visualization via fluorescence.  

Porphysomes are a patented porphyrin-lipid technology. The porphyrin component of a porphysome delivers the photosensitizing property while the lipid component provides additional functional capabilities. These multi-functional characteristics provide the opportunity to design agents for a variety of applications.

The initial target application for porphysomes is peripheral lung cancer, which is defined as tumors that reside in the outer 1/3 of the lung. The development pipeline also includes oropharyngeal cancer, pancreatic cancer and skin cancer.

$10-15M USD, for the purpose of:

-        GMP manufacturing of clinical drug product       

-        Initiation of first-in-human phase-I studies in peripheral lung cancer

Estimated market value of porphysomes in peripheral lung cancer is $1 Billion USD. CAGRis estimated at 3-5%.

Three patents cover the composition of porphysomes, usage in photothermal therapies and photoacoustic imaging as well as different porphysomes with alternative lipid conjugates. Several patent filings are in progress covering porphysome modifications that enhance uptake into cancer cells and enhance ability to carry chemotherapeutic agents (e.g.paclitaxel), as well as patents focused on proprietary potency testing device sand methods.

Regulatory IND/CTA filings followed by the initiation of first in human trials


Glenn Kutschera, CEO 

Glenn is an experienced industry executive with recent experience as president of a U.S. photodynamic therapy company.

Paul Sieroslawski, CFO/COO

Paul has 12 years of experience working as a finance and operations executive in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, most recently at a photodynamic focused company.

Dr. Gang Zheng - Senior Scientist and Associate Research Director, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre & Scientific Co-Founder

Porphysomes are based on ground-breaking research by Dr. Gang Zheng, a world-renowned expert in nanomedicine and Associate Research Director at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Named contributor to the “top 10 cancer breakthroughs of 2011” by the Canadian Cancer Society for his work on harnessing porphysome nanotechnology in the fight against cancer, Dr. Zheng’s nanotechnology platform is the foundation for this new venture. For more information:

Dr. Brian Wilson - Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Center; Professor, University of Toronto

Dr. Wilson's work lies in the development and commercialization of novel technologies and methods that can be translated to cancer patients and that are based on light and nanoparticles. The applications include cancer detection/diagnosis (using different forms of optical spectroscopy and imaging), cancer treatment (using light-activated drugs), and image-guided cancer interventions (surgery guided by fluorescence imaging).

Dr. Michael Valic, Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

‍Regulatory IND/CTA filings followed by the initiation of first in human trials
Investment Tier:
$10-15M USD