3D Tumor Targeting is one of 20 medtech startups chosen as finalists in the 7th annual M2D2 $200K Challenge. Founder Huanchen Li described his innovation and shared the story behind it.
What is the innovation you’ve entered in the M2D2 $200K Challenge?
With external magnets, we manipulate in vivo diamagnetic nanoparticles in a 3D manner into tumors, then heat the nanoparticles to destroy the tumors.
What inspired you to develop your device?
It has been my lifelong dream to find a cure for cancer. My uncle, who was married but without children, treated me as his own son. I loved him, and he was my hero. However, he got cancer when I was eight years old and passed away when I was ten. I felt powerless to save him and that drove me to conquer cancer.
I went to medical school in China, studied Toxicology for my MS degree, and studied molecular biology for my PhD degree—all striving toward that goal. When I wasn’t working to support my family, I spent all my spare time searching, reading, and thinking about how to conquer cancer.
After years of reviewing and investigating most, if not all, approaches to cancer treatment, I came up with the 3D targeting as the most effective cure. The 3D targeting can accurately target and destroy all tumors of all types, anywhere in the body, without filling the body with cancer medicines.
What are the most significant barriers you’ve faced and overcome?
We are still facing the financial challenge of obtaining an electromagnet powerful enough to manipulate the nanomagnets involved on our tumor targeting process—without it, we cannot move forward. There are so many smart scientists and companies who can easily see the potential of this project, once I can present the project to them. We entered the M2D2 Challenge so that we could expose our innovation to a greater number of likely investors.
Can you share a “Eureka!” moment—a breakthrough in the development of your idea?
After I came up with the idea, I was wondering why others had not done it. Could it because it would never work? To find an answer, I kept searching and reading. To my surprise and joy, I found mountains of literature that proved the idea will work without a problem. So I’ve always known I’m on the right track.
If you win, what’s next?
Our next steps would be:
- Using animal tissues, test and optimize the electromagnet to establish a prototype of our product.
- Also using animal tissues, test and select a nanomaterial to simplify our upcoming clinical trials.
- Establish a testing center in China for terminally ill liver cancer patients.
- Run clinical trials to test the effectiveness of this technology. (No safety test is needed because the FDA has approved what we will do.).
- Submit an FDA application for use in the USA for terminally ill liver cancer patients.
You’re invited to meet ALL the finalists in person at the two upcoming events that will conclude the Challenge:
- Challenge Pitch-Off—Wednesday March 28 at 5:00 pm, University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell
- Finalist Awards & Networking Event—Tuesday April 10 at 5:00 pm, Mintz Levin, 1 Financial Center, Boston
For more information and tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/m2d2-200k-challenge-finalist-pitch-off-awards-ceremony-tickets-43307428685