Novel Drug for Cancer Diagnostics and Photodynamic Treatment


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is well-known in treating cancer that cancer cells can be safely radiated and destroyed. This invention is a new generation of drug that can be used in PDT and to significantly kill cancer cells without attacking normal cells and can give responsive emission for diagnostics.

  • Novel Drug for Cancer Diagnostics and Photodynamic Treatment
Commercialisation opportunities
Seeking partners to collaborate and bring this drug to the next stage of clinical trials
Problem addressed

PDT can selectively kill the cancer cells by utilizing a chemical compound called photosensitizer (PS) under particular light irradiation. This invention could help to address the unmet need for PS drugs’ improvement in terms of cancer cell specificity, depth of light penetration and safety.

  • This PS drug is porphyrin-lanthanide complex with specific functional groups which are conjugated with carefully chosen peptides so as to increase cancer cells specificity.
  • The drug is safe as it can be used at a lower light irradiation (i.e. 10 J/cm2 vs standard dose of 50 J/cm2) and can be used with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for early-stage disease diagnosis.
Key impact
  • The compound is highly selective and it will only destroy cancer cells instead of normal cells. Therefore, it will not induce adverse effects in patients during and after the treatment.
  • The compound can be used with MRI for early-stage disease diagnosis as it provides high-resolution images for accurate diagnosis of cancer.
  • The drug can be used for early-stage cancer diagnosis and killing cancer cells in-situ.


  • US Patent No. US 9,840,522
  • US Patent No. US 9,522,925
  • European Patent No. EP3215586B1
  • China Patent No. ZL 2017 8 0062324.X
  • Australia Patent No. AU 2019249628
Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)

Aspiring to be a leading, research-led, liberal arts University in Asia, Hong Kong Baptist University is committed to conducting world-leading investigations that extends the frontiers of knowledge, tackles global challenges and benefits the community at home and abroad. 

Pursuing research excellence is one of the priorities of the University’s Institutional Strategic Plan 2018-2028. The University keeps enhancing its capacity and strength to produce world-class research with an aim to bring significant impact to the society.