Salix licenses new cancer detection tech in $130M pact

Salix Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay up to roughly $130 million for the licensing rights to a new imaging technology that can be used to spot precancerous lesions in the colon.

Doctors currently rely on white light to illuminate colons during a colonoscopy, highlighting the cancerous and precancerous tissue that needs to be snipped out during the procedure. Now Norway's Photocure has developed an imaging agent named Lumacan that is given by enema. The chemical is designed to be absorbed by cancer cells and then lights up bright red when the visual examination begins, offering a clear marker for physicians to follow.

According to Photocure, this kind of technology can be used to identify far more of the tissue that needs to be cut out in a procedure, offering an improved chance at stopping cancer before it starts to spread.

Raleigh, NC-based Salix gets all the rights to sell the agent outside of the Nordic countries, where Photocure plans to operate.

- here's the Photocure press release on the deal
- get the AP report