SMART TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM

THE PROBLEM

Current chemotherapy drugs cause strong systemic side effects outside of the tumor.

OUR SOLUTION

We develop photoswitchable small molecule drugs that can simply be activated by local light application at the tumor. We can therefore reduce systemic side effects compared to conventional chemotherapy.

GETTING THERE

CytoSwitch is developing its lead candidates through early preclinical studies towards the clinical stages. CytoSwitch is also validating the platform technology, being first-in-class to develop photoswitchable small molecule therapeutics.

ABOUT CytoSwitch

We have developed a targeted antimitotic molecule called Photostatin (PST), published in the high profile scientific journal Cell and featured in various mainstream media. PST has a unique selectivity advantage over all other antimitotics: it can be targeted to affect specific tissues and avoid all the others, just by specifically illuminating the tissue where it should be active. We aim to develop PST as a novel chemotherapeutic that targets cancer tumors while sparing healthy tissues, delivering effective tumor therapy with much reduced side-effects compared to standard-of-care (SoC) chemotherapies.

Potential treatment applications:

  • PSTs could tackle refractory tumors, which do not respond to tolerable doses of current drugs.
  • PSTs could treat weaker patients, who cannot tolerate the side-effects of current treatments.

CytoSwitch is currently in the pre-seed phase and is funded through the EXIST governmental grant by the German Ministry of Economics (BMWi).

COMPOUNDS IN PIPELINE

PST-1
40%
Compound II
20%
Compound III
5%

Our Team

Dr. Yelena Wainman

Dr. Yelena Wainman

Chemical Biologist, Project Leader

Dr. Yelena Wainman manages the CytoSwitch project. She completed her PhD in medicinal chemistry at the University of Cambridge followed by a post-doc at Harvard Medical School working on photoswitchable epigenetic inhibitors. She was active in the biotech/start-up scene in both Cambridge and Boston (Kaleidoscope, Palletech, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable).

Dr. Doris Mangelberger

Dr. Doris Mangelberger

Translational Biologist

Dr. Doris Mangelberger carries out the in vivo validation for the new drug candidates at CytoSwitch. After a PhD in molecular biology at the Univ. of Salzburg, where she investigated signaling mechanisms involved in cancer formation, she did a postdoc at the Univ. of Michigan Cancer Center. There she developed skin cancer models for basic research and performed preclinical drug testing in vivo.

Tilmann Petersen

Tilmann Petersen

Business Officer

Tilmann Petersen manages the business related side of CytoSwitch. He has 10 years of experience as co-founder and manager in various Biotech and High-Tech Startups. He worked as Head of Finance in the VivoCell Biosolutions AG group, as CFO for Pioneers.io and as CEO of Nu Emotions.

Dr. Elena Longhi

Dr. Elena Longhi

Medical Chemist

Dr. Elena Longhi leads the synthetic efforts for the development of new compounds at CytoSwitch. She received her Ph.D. in industrial chemistry with a focus on organic chemistry from the Univ. of Milan. She then worked as a postdoc at M√ľnster and Strasbourg universities, developing immunoassays for diagnostics, followed by a postdoc at Georgia Tech in organic electronics.

Associated

Franziska Ermer

Franziska Ermer

Veterinary Biologist

Franziska Ermer is working as a PhD Student on preclinical studies for our anticancer compounds in vitro and in vivo models. She became a board certified Veterinarian in April 2018 after studying at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU). She carried out clinical veterinary internships in Germany and Australia focused on veterinary oncology.

Dr. Oliver Thorn-Seshold

Dr. Oliver Thorn-Seshold

Medicinal Chemistry, Academic Group Leader

Dr. Oliver Thorn-Seshold is the chemist behind the compound pipeline design for CytoSwitch. He leads a junior research group at the LMU Munich, developing small molecule inhibitors as reagents and cancer therapeutics. After a PhD in fluorescent probes at the University of Lyon, he began research into turning known cancer drugs into light-sensitive analogues.

CYTOSWITCH IN THE MEDIA

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