OncoNano is a company that has been built in cooperation with the University of Texas Southwestern, and is based out of Plano. OncoNano, led by Ravi Srinivasan, is working to revolutionize cancer surgery and has won several prestigious grants for research and development. OncoNano was named TECH Fort Worth’s first spotlight winner of 2016, highlighting the brilliant work being done by Ravi and his team. Ravi, a serial entrepreneur, is an MIT-educated scientist-engineer changing how cancer will be seen by the doctors tasked with its’ removal.
OncoNano has created an injectable agent that lights tumor cells up in real time, allowing surgeons to remove the tumor and any secondary malignant tissue where the tumor has spread. Ravi explains what is so special about this agent, “The product itself has unprecedented sensitivity to tumors–10 times the resolution of gold-standard PET scan agents,” highlighting just how beneficial this technology will be in the ongoing fight against cancer. There will no longer be questions about whether tissue has been infected or not, this agent creates a black and white perspective, if the cells are lit up, they are cancerous.
This revolutionary mechanism to better target cancer cells during surgery was created in conjunction with the UT’s Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and this is not the first time that this massive breakthrough is being recognized. In 2014 OncoNano and UT Southwestern won $6 million in product development grants for this same technology that visualizes tumors during the surgery for removal. The animal studies which have been part of this “Transforming Cancer Surgery by Tumor Illumination,” program has resulted in their animals not dying of cancer, but dying of old age, a truly incredible development. The team is looking forward to moving forward next year with human trials and hope to bring this technology to those suffering from cancer as quickly as the process of approval allows.