LightOx is developing its technology platform, with our lead candidate LXD191 being developed for oral cancer treatments.

Further applications are being developed in other clinical and non-clinical areas.

LightOx’s ability to target cancers is a key aspect of our strategy.

We are developing a portfolio of light activated cytotoxic therapeutics that have been formulated for use in the treatment of oral cancers via a topical delivery method. Our small molecule drugs act as selective therapeutics, where uptake and activity preferentially occurs in cancerous cells.

These therapeutics are cytotoxic and can be linked to cell-specific targeting antibodies, peptides or nucleic acids (LightOx-ADCs) where required.

LightOx has developed a new class of small molecule fluorescent drug-like compounds which overcome the limitations of current light-based treatments.

These compounds have intrinsic light activated cell killing properties and have the potential to revolutionise light-based therapeutic markets.

Our molecules can be
  • Cancer targeting – LightOx compounds linked to macromolecules and other small molecule drugs
  • Small compound size suitable for topical formulation
  • Minimal off-target toxicity
  • Ability to develop joint diagnostic and treatment agents to reduce treatment time and costs.

Partnering & Collaboration

We have secured a deal with Merck to distribute our research tools and sell directly to other researchers under a Research Use Only model. This allows our customers to develop new technologies using the chemicals, and will in turn generate licensing revenues in the future. We currently have ongoing projects on plant, microbial and fungal applications.


We have developed a number of compounds that are available to licence to help your needs. We are open minded in our approach to broadening these applications areas and so would love to hear from you if you think this can further your business goals.


LightOx has grown from research carried out in Durham in the UK, and has undergone rapid growth phase since 2017. Following initial angel investment in January 2018, the company has secured further investment partners in the Netherlands and has developed its first oral cancer candidates to take towards clinic in 2021.
Dr Sam Whitehouse

Dr Whitehouse is an experienced board member with executive experience in both innovation and service based companies. Overseeing the development and commercialisation of world leading products for healthcare products and working with some of the world’s leading institutes, he has brought some of the very best innovations to market. As CEO and board member, he oversees the governance and strategy of the company, giving guidance and structure for the team.

With a background in chemistry and molecular biology, and experienced in bringing research to commercial realisation Dr Whitehouse will oversee product portfolio expansion, regulation and accreditation in our specified target markets, as well as securing the required funding and commercial deals.

Prof Carrie Ambler

Prof Ambler is a bioscientist who works jointly as LightOx’s CSO and as a Professor at Durham University. She runs a strong, interdisciplinary team formed of cell biologists, biophysicists and biochemists with over fifteen years experience studying tissue repair, regeneration and pathology and highly skilled in using microscopic imaging in 2D and 3D human models.

In addition to her own areas of expertise, Prof Ambler collaborates with leading scientists across the globe on projects ranging from neurobiology to food security. She has numerous publications in international journals and giving seminars at national and international conferences.

Her role in the company is to direct the science underpinning the therapeutic development programmes through from early stage research through the clinical development pipeline.

Prof Mark Coles

Prof Coles is Professor of Immunology at Oxford (publishing over 60 papers), and has been working in cellular and molecular immunology for 20 years. His group utilizes interdisciplinary approaches to understand the development and function of immune environments focusing on the role of stromal cell and immune cell interactions. He has key expertise in imaging (from single molecule to whole tissue imaging), experimental models and systems immunology.

He has developed model driven experimentation as an approach to understand how complex immune – work in health and disease. The Coles group has a strong record working with industry including funding and projects involving GSK, Roche, MedImmune/AstraZeneca and Unilever. He recently spun out SimOmics a company specialized in evidence based modelling and simulation of immune responses.

As chief scientific officer of SimOmics he has helped grow the financial success of the company, undertaking projects to support research and development at pharmaceutical companies. He has previously obtained patent protection for technology to differentiate human mesenchymal stem cells into lymphoid stroma. His role in the company is to support the development of specific cell targeting technologies.

Dr Roy Valentine

Dr Valentine has worked in the chemical industry for over 50 years starting as a laboratory technician in a multinational fine chemicals company in Manchester. After graduating from London University and then obtaining a PhD in organic fluorine chemistry he became the laboratory manager for a multinational perfumery company.

He took the opportunity to help start a new fine chemicals company in the North East as Research Director, and when that was acquired by a multinational some years later, another opportunity arose to set up a small independent chemical R&D company High Force Research.

Paul Lelieveld

Paul’s experience spans more than 25 years in business & strategy development, management of technology and investments companies.

Paul has successfully led investment rounds in several companies, and invested a.o. for Wageningen Business Generator and the Family investment office Multifund.

Dr Frans van Dalen

Frans’ experience spans 30 years in the (bio)pharmaceutical field. Held staff / management positions in Strategic Program Development, QA / QP, Project Management, R & D and Regulatory Affairs.

From 1992 for more than 25 years Frans was one of the partners that built Synthon Holding; a group of companies (1,500 FTEs) involved in the R & D, Regulatory Affairs, manufacturing and commercialisation of generic medicines, biosimilars and New Biological Entities.

Our new technologies fundamentally change the way in which light-based therapies are delivered to the patient

Through a new class of patented small molecule, fluorescent, drug-like compounds which overcome the limitations of current light-based treatments.


LightOx are developing a new class of light activated chemotherapy for the treatment of oral cancer. We use photosensitising agents along with light to kill cancer cells.


LightOx has shown positive pre-clinical results and are planning on conducting a Phase I safety trial of LXD191 with partners in the UK.