Published 6/16/17 in Baltimore

The company recently signed a licensing deal with UM Ventures.

Cellth Systems
recently reached a licensing deal with UM Ventures to expand development of its medical device that can help provide insight into how to treat cancer as it spreads.

In Baltimore, the technology was developed in the lab of University of Maryland School of Medicine Professor Stuart Martin. Research conducted at the University of Maryland-College Park also contributed to its development.

Cellth Systems focuses in on Circulating Tumor Cells. They serve as early indicators that cancer is spreading, but often require different medication to treat than initial cancer cells, said Cellth CEO Richard Hughen. He calls them “sinister agents in cancer.”

The company’s device takes cells that have already been isolated, and makes them easier to observe. The device has a “lasso” made of lipids that can tether the cells so they aren’t sticking to anything.

“They’re literally free floating and the only thing that’s touching them is this tether,” Hughen said.

Once the cells are free-floating they can be analyzed, and researchers can test how well different types of medication work.

The company is currently working on breast cancer. With a $150,000 award from TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative, Cellth Systems will look to expand into work on colon, lung and prostate cancer.

Hughen said the company wants to stay in Baltimore as it grows to stay close to Martin’s lab.