Crain’s Detroit Business News Names Immunolight LLC Most Innovative Company of 2016

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Immunolight LLC, a biomedical firm leading the way in technologies that transform energy sources such as low dose X-ray and convert them into energy that is capable of activating a natural compound called psoralen when exposed to UV light, has been named Crain’s Detroit Business News most innovative company for 2016.

"Our highest priority is to translate this amazing science into an actual cancer treatment in patients," Walder said. "I think we are quite close."

Each year, Crain’s Detroit Business News ranks the most innovative companies through a survey called the Eureka Index – a process that evaluates the patent estate of a company, its impact and significance, and the likelihood of bringing it to market.

Immunolight LLC, a biomedical firm leading the way in technologies that transform energy sources such as low dose X-ray and convert them into energy that is capable of activating a natural compound called psoralen when exposed to UV light, has been named Crain’s Detroit Business News most innovative company for 2016.

Immunolight founder and CEO Rick Bourke has spent the last thirty years dedicated to scientific and medical research. During that time he has developed and supported several medical projects with success in treating cancer and other diseases. Through his research, he conceived the idea of using UV light, generated by energy conversion within the body, along with psoralen to induce an immune response against cancer from inside the tumor.

Psoralen, which is a naturally-occurring compound found in things like celery, figs and citrus fruits, has been aiding in the treatment of autoimmune disease, skin disorders and some forms of cancer for decades, but has not been used in treating solid tumors due to the fact that UV light cannot penetrate tissue.

Through a partnership with Duke University and a team of over thirty scientists, physicians and engineers, led by President Harold Walder, Immunolight is advancing the platform technology by innovating tiny particles that absorb energies that can penetrate tissue and converting them into ultraviolet light inside a tumor to activate psoralen, a known anti-cancer drug.

"Our highest priority is to translate this amazing science into an actual cancer treatment in patients," Walder said. "I think we are quite close."

Immunolight technology has the potential to create a dramatic shift in the treatment of cancer. It wasn’t that long ago that the treatments were limited to three options that included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Although improvements have been made in all three areas, cancer remains one of the most grueling diseases that afflict us today in ways that influence us emotionally, physically and financially.

“We have enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with the scientists at Duke and are encouraged by the effects we have seen in cells and in preliminary animal studies. We look forward to moving the technology ahead into patients as a promising new approach to treating solid tumors,” said founder and CEO Rick Bourke.

When can we expect to see Immunolight’s technology trials begin on people? According to Walder, “discussions have begun with the FDA about the requirements to initiate the first human clinical trial.”

“We are honored to be chosen as the most innovative company by Crain’s Detroit Business News,” Walder said, “It is our hope that we can provide an alternative treatment in the fight against cancer with a non-invasive, immune-based treatment that doesn’t involve the cytotoxic agents used in chemotherapy.”

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Michael Bourke, VP Development
Immunolight
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