The European Commission grants 2,4M€ to NeoMedLight for its light emitting innovation which treats the lesions of patients suffering from cancersBy Joëlle Godeau
Horizon2020 Small and Medium Enterprise Instruments (H2020 SME) award winner, the start-up NeoMedLight received a 2,4M€ grant from the European Commission for CareMin650™, its innovation for the care of lesions due to anti-cancer treatments. This grant will allow NeoMedLight to finance the completion of the project and launch its device featuring exclusive technology: a fabric emitting light through woven optic fibres.
H2020 program: a selective support to innovation
Horizon 2020 is the European Union finance program for research, innovation and technologies. Focused on societal challenges such as health, the program encompasses all aspects of innovation from design to market introduction. It specifically intends to support SMEs that are innovative and show strong growth ambition and internationalisation.
Following a long and challenging selection process, NeoMedLight was selected, among thousands of European candidates. Since the start of 2019 only 135 companies have been selected across Europe of which only eight from France.
CareMin650™: taking care of cancer patients’ lesions with light
Mucositis and dermatitis: serious side effects of anti-cancer treatments
Mucositis and dermatitis are severe and frequent radiotherapy and chemotherapy side effects. These conditions result in lesions which cause considerable pain in the oral mucosa and skin especially in the case of breast cancer, head and neck cancer, leukaemia as well as gynaecological and prostate cancers.
Affecting from 40% to 80% patients, depending on the type of cancer, it is estimated that nearly 2M patients suffer from mucositis and dermatitis.
These pathologies inflict pain deteriorating patients’ quality of live, weakening them due to weight loss and compromising treatment compliance.
A cause of opportunistic infections, they lead to a 3,9% excess mortality rate and an extra 10 billion euro cost to healthcare systems.
Despite their frequency, their impact on patients’ daily life and economic cost, there has been no preventive or curative approved treatment up to now.
CareMin650™: a light emitting fabric for the care of cancer patients
To tackle this health issue, NeoMedLight designed CareMin650TM, a device using the light emitting fabric Lightex® – unique patented technology – emitting light through woven optic fibres.
CareMin650™’s operating mode is the photobiomodulation, which uses properties of specific light waves. Photobiomodulation, scientifically and clinically proven by numerous studies, is a complex biological mechanism of cell reparation that stimulates proliferation and migration of healthy cells. It allows inflammation reduction and so contributes to pain alleviation. For this reason, institutions such as Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have set guidelines for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis through photobiomodulation.
CareMin650™ can be used in a preventive or a curative manner. Likewise, prior to radiotherapy or chemotherapy, it will allow the reduction of treatments’ harmful effects, or it will cure existing lesions. The device is easy to use and non-invasive. Its action is controllable, its efficacy is measurable and sessions last a few minutes.
The aim is to meet patients’ essential needs, reducing the human, social and economic burden triggered by mucositis and dermatitis.
“NeoMedLight is determined to grasp the opportunity the European grant brings to provide patients and healthcare providers with a device improving wellbeing during this difficult cancer treatment period. Thanks to our light emitting fabric, many patients will be freed from painful disabilities, which in turn will lead to a significant reduction in the associated social, human and economic costs.” explains Pierre Saint-Girons NeoMedLight CEO.
CareMin650™ launch plan
Firstly, the European grant will allow NeoMedLight to finalise CareMin650™ clinical trials and then will accelerate its market introduction.
A clinical study, which began in early July 2019, is targeting the recruitment of 72 patients from at least 4 collaborating french hospitals (Paris, Lille, Saint-Etienne and Nice). This study is being led by Professor René-Jean Bensadoun, oncologist and radiotherapist, in charge of the “Centre de Haute Energie” unit in Nice.
“Mucositis and dermatitis induced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments are a major issue for our patients: they significantly alter their quality of life and can jeopardise the curing of their cancer. I have been using photobiomodulation for more than 20 years with great results in decreasing side effects. Emitting light with fabric makes the procedure simpler and easy to reproduce. For this reason, I agreed to lead the SafePBM study initiated by NeoMedLight which should eventually lead to the wide use of photobiomodulation in our hospitals.” says Pr. Bensadoun.
Expected first trimester 2020, the CE marking will allow the commercial launch of CareMin650™ in France, Switzerland, Germany, Benelux and Nordic countries.
One year later a 5M€ fundraising will support a wider clinical study and the opening of a subsidiary in the United States in order to prepare the ground for an American market entry as of 2022.
NeoMedLight’s ambition is to become the reference in the care of complex lesions for which no solution exists today (for example: bedsores).
The use of light for medical purposes has already been the focus of innovation from NeoMedLight with the design of BiliCocoon® in 2016. This medical device, which treats newborn jaundice, is today available in 30 countries worldwide, including the USA, and will soon be available in China.
NeoMedLight’s core competency is the development of innovative medical devices using phototherapy as means to cure or provide diagnosis assistance. The company owns a unique and patented technology: a light emitting fabric Lightex® which allows light emission through optic fibres. Funded by Cédric Brochier and Pierre Saint-Girons, NeoMedLight is a Brochier Technology spin-off dedicated to health care.