Xerion Healthcare develops nanoparticles made from titanium dioxide which are injected into tumors prior to radiotherapy. The nanoparticles are claimed to amplify the dose of free radicals generated by X-rays, making the treatment for effective. The company is focused on head and neck and pancreatic tumors. As of 2018 the company is in pre-clinical stage.
Radiotherapy effectiveness partly relies on molecular oxygen. High energy X-ray photons generate electrons that scatter within the tumor and interact with molecular oxygen to produce superoxide radicals which damage tumor cells. Radiotherapy is less effective in areas of a tumor that are low in oxygen. Xerion Healthcare is addressing this problem with their nanoparticles which are able to generate free radicals by splitting water rather then by interacting with oxygen.
Xerion Healthcare moved to Cherwell Innovation Centre near Bicester, Oxfordshire in 2015. A £2m investment was provided by Oxford Sciences Innovation. The company has also received funding through Innovate UK’s Biomedical Early Catalyst scheme.