Three graduate students took first place in the University at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC) for a biotechnology venture that offers a revolutionary new way to deliver cancer drugs.
Michael Bisogno, MD/MBA student, of Smithtown; Kevin Carter, a master’s student in biomedical engineering, of Georgetown, Guyana; and Jonathan Smyth, third-year law student, of Syracuse, will receive $25,000 in startup capital, as well as in-kind services valued at more than $27,000 for their company, PhotoZyne.
The dosage and effectiveness of typical cancer drug treatments are limited because of their severe toxicity. Enter PhotoZyne, which offers an effective and minimally invasive solution. A “smart” nanoballoon safely delivers cancer treatments directly to solid tumors. Administered intravenously, the drug then is activated by exposure to a special laser light probe.
The creators say the focused delivery helps to decrease recurrence, resistance and side effects. And survival rates are higher because the cancer can be treated effectively in one concentrated dose.
Carter co-invented the technology with Jonathan Lovell, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and brought in Smyth and Bisogno to help bring it to market.