FluoGuide is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing drugs for maximizing surgical outcomes by making cancer fluorescent.
The company’s lead product, FG001, was developed using FluoGuide’s proprietary uPAR technology platform. Products created with this platform are designed to increase surgical precision by making cancer cells fluorescent during surgery. FG001 has been demonstrated to be safe and well-tolerated and has been shown, in an ongoing proof-of-concept phase IIa clinical trial, to make aggressive brain cancer fluorescent in patients undergoing surgery. The company’s products are injected intravenously to patients prior to surgery.
FluoGuide’s platform for use in surgical guidance is leveraging the company’s proprietary uPAR-targeted luminescent technology. uPAR is an abbreviation for urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor, which is a cell membrane receptor that together with uPA focuses the proteolytic activity of urokinase – leading to a highly localized degradation of the extracellular matrix. In other words, uPAR is part of a cell-bound enzyme system present on the invasive forefront of cancer where it degrades normal tissue to allow cancer to spread.
uPAR is extensively expressed on the surface of most types of solid cancers, and its concentration directly correlates to the aggressiveness of cancer. These unique characteristics make uPAR-targeting an outstanding solution to help guide surgeons in removing cancerous tissue.
By creating fluorescence in cancer cells during surgery, FluoGuide’s products can help surgeons differentiate cancer from normal tissue during surgery and thereby decreases the risk of leaving malignant cells behind and helps spare normal tissue. Moreover, FluoGuide’s platform may also be used for developing photothermal treatments that induce cancer cell death by heat generated by the fluorophobic part of the products. FG001 has in pre-clinical trials been demonstrated to remove cancer tissue when it is heated by being exposed to near-infrared light.
The improved precision in surgical oncology offered by FluoGuide’s products has a potential dual benefit: reducing the frequency of local recurrence and helping to lessen surgical sequelae. Ultimately, uPAR-guided surgery may enhance a patient’s chance of achieving a complete cure and contribute to lowering system-wide healthcare costs.
Cancer types that can be targeted using FluoGuide’s uPAR products include more than 80% of solid cancers such as brain, lung, breast, colorectal, head & neck, and pancreatic cancers, making the platform relevant for surgeries in at least three million patients each year.
The path forward for FluoGuide’s products is relatively simple, allowing FluoGuide to cost-effectively pursue several indications in parallel. The company’s strategy is to build a multi-product pipeline that can address multiple indications. In the near term, the company is focused on bringing the first product (FG001) to the first market for the first indication to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of the uPAR platform proven by FG001.
FluoGuide is listed on Nasdaq First North- Growth Market, Sweden under the ticker “FLUO”.