Treating cancer without side effects using light, to improve the quality of life of patients.

The quality of life of cancer patients is not only reduced by the disease itself, but also because of current anticancer treatments and their severe side effects. Therefore, we have developed a new, potent anticancer therapy with minimal side effects, as it has two levels of selectivity: a nanobody that directs a light-activatable drug to cancer cells, and light locally applied at the tumor to activate the drug. This therapy has been extensively validated in preclinical models and is being successfully applied in the veterinary clinic, showing strong antitumor activity and lack of side effects.

Initially, we aim to implement this therapy for >250,000 head and neck cancer patients that cannot be successfully treated every year. The main reason for this is that their tumors cannot be resected due to the proximity to critical structures. For this indication, the advantages of our therapy (i.e., selective killing of cancer cells leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed) can be optimally exploited.

Irati Beltrán Hernández and Sebas Pronk have been working together for more than 5 years and have obtained their PhDs working on this therapy and in the field of nanobody-targeted drug delivery, respectively. They will be fully dedicated to Lumox to bring this novel therapy to market. They have the support of associate professor Sabrina Oliveira, who has developed this particular therapy for over 14 years, and Danielle Counotte, an experienced life-science business developer. They also have a broad network of medical doctors who are committed to aid in the clinical implementation of the therapy.


Irati Beltrán Hernandéz
Sebas pronk
Sabrina Oliveira
Danielle Counotte
Startup activities

Venture Challenge Fall 2023

Irati Beltrán Hernandéz