All of our products have chemistry at the heart of their origin and design.

We are able to take this chemistry and look for application opportunities in a number of fields, and by working collaboratively, we seek to raise revenues from a number of sources. By coupling our molecules to targeting agents we can direct our probes and cell killing drugs to specific cell types or intracellular components.

A high level fundamental scientific understanding allows us to develop new technologies for treating cancers, as well as killing bacteria, and even as tracking compounds and probes for plant cells, and enabling peeking inside fungi, and potentially for treating such infections and beyond.

Our primary focus currently is early stage oral cancer treatments using a conjugated HDACi-LightOx photosensitiser.

This new class of drug can be targeted at certain cell types and activated using a specific wavelength of light making them toxic to the cell and causing cell death.

By targeting the therapies to oral cancers we are able to treat patients with the early stage cancer, and enable pre-cancerous treatments before surgical intervention. We will then develop new drug compounds to market for other clinical areas, where light activated treatment is possible, including bladder.


LightOx uses Definition IP (UK) as IP advisors and has worldwide, exclusive licenses to the previous research in this field, and has patents to cover all existing species and applications.

Further to this LightOx has taken a strategic approach to further extend its IP portfolio to cover new compounds, applications and therapeutic targets.

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.

Key Partners & Supporters


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 2020.

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 Andy Whiting

Prof Whiting is a Professor in Organic Chemistry at Durham University and has published over 200 peer reviewed papers, patents and reviews. He is expert on organic synthesis, synthetic methodology and molecular design, and devised the LightOx fluorescent compounds, conjugates and probes for imaging, cellular development and phototherapeutic applications.

He has published widely in international journals in the organic synthesis field and at its biology interface, and has worked jointly with the CEO for several years in this area. His role will be to direct the design, development and scale up of suitable chemical entities for use as photo therapeutics, working with the rest of the team to deliver products to market.

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.


Photodynamic Therapy is a treatment that uses special drugs, called photosensitising agents, along with light, to kill cancer cells.


A Unique Range of Molecular Tools for use in Imaging, Therapeutics and Assay Development.