The InLighta team, led by Jenny J Yang, Ph.D., the company’s founder and Regents Professor /Distinguished University Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysical Chemistry at Georgia State University, is pioneering the development of innovative contrast agents. Dr. Yang’s research team has created a novel platform for developing protein MRI gadolinium-binding contrast agents (ProCAs) by designing and embedding several metal binding sites into a scaffold protein, leading to the development of significantly improved MRI contrast agents for clinical applications. Two categories of protein contrast agents have been developed. One, exemplified by ProCA32, is derived from human parvalbumin with mutations incorporated into the metal binding sites to improve affinity and selectivity for gadolinium. The second category, as exemplified by ProCA32.CXCR4 (liver cancer detection) and ProCA32.HER2 (breast cancer detection) builds on ProCa32 by adding a ligand binding moiety that selectively binds a target receptor overexpressed on the tissue of interest.
At present, these revolutionary contrast agents produce higher contrast and more precise imaging that current commercial contrast agents. InLighta is currently pursuing various strategies to move these products into the pre-clinical trial stage for eventual commercial use. This presents a unique and potentially lucrative opportunity for investors to participate in the evolution of imaging technology for a rapidly growing global market.