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How Scorpion Venom Helps Improve Brain Cancer Surgery in Children by Making Tumors Glow

By February 28, 2019No Comments

Seattle biotech company Blaze Bioscience has raised $5 million in funding as it pursues a pivotal trial for its “Tumor Paint,” a molecule that binds to cancer cells and lights them up to help brain surgeons remove tumors. The money is the first tranche of a larger round that could reach $20 million.

Heather Franklin, co-founder and CEO of Blaze Bioscience. (Blaze Photo)

Blaze is testing the technology on children with central nervous system tumors at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where it enrolled its first patient last fall. The company decided to concentrate on pediatric neurosurgery because it filled an unmet need, said Blaze co-founder and CEO Heather Franklin.

“Brain cancer is the number one killer of kids with cancer,” Franklin said. “[Tumor Paint] allows the surgeon to cut out all of the tumor, but it also allows them to not cut out normal tissue. And you can imagine, in a child’s brain that’s really critical.”