Improving healthcare for all

Torskal, a pioneer in innovative green nanotechnology for the treatment of cancers

23 Oct 2021

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020.

Conventional treatment such as chemotherapy remains very harmful; it is toxic and mostly poorly targeted as it kills both cancer and healthy cells leading to side effects. All of this can be overcome by an alternate approach thanks to TORSKAL, a pioneer in innovative green nanotechnology for the treatment of various cancers.

TORSKAL has found a unique technique using gold nanoparticles which are developed by an environmentally friendly process that reduces the side effects by targeting and killing only the cancer cells in a single dose. This technique is patented by TORSKAL in 40 countries since 2016. The gold nanoparticles which are synthesized by green chemistry are extracted from Huebertia Ambavilla, an endemic plant from the Réunion Island. They are injected into tumor cells to treat skin cancer, subcutaneous such as melanoma.

Then, using a near-infrared laser, these gold nanoparticles undergo photothermal heating resulting in selective hypothermic cell death without heating of the adjacent non-tumor tissue leading to fewer side effects compared to chemotherapy. This double targeting (of gold nanoparticles on one side and the laser on the other side) will result in a decrease of side effects in comparison with current treatments such as chemotherapy.

The method is localized, rapid and painless. Like its innovations, TORSKAL also thrives on sustainability by using ethical gold sourced from responsible mining communities to develop their gold nanoparticles and its synthesis by using plants grown on untreated natural wastelands which helps local farmers and promotes local economy. A recognition confirmed by the 2021 “10,000 startups to change the world” award, organized by La Tribune, in the “Overseas” category and “Let’s Go France” award organized by PwC France in 2020, BCG’s strategy award in 2017 and the i-Lab award in the emerging category by BPI France in 2015.

TORSKAL’s founder and president, Anne-Laure Morel has been one of the delegates to represent France in the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance since 2018. TORSKAL who is now the “pioneer” of green nanotechnology is on its course of also becoming the “leader” in green nanotechnology.

The company is currently preparing for human clinical trials for skin cancer and is seeking additional funding to meet its objectives. Public and private funding allows the startup to continue its research around this original concept.

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