WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — Research underway into alternative cancer treatment, going on in Central Florida, could soon be on the fast track.

  • Kiadis Pharma bought Winter Springs' CytoSen for $70M
  • UCF: largest biotechnology company purchase in Central Fla. history
  • Merger will allow CytoSen's cancer research to hit the fast track

Netherlands-based Kiadis Pharma recently bought CytoSen for $70 million.

The Winter Springs biotech company is developing a cancer treatment that uses someone’s own natural cancer-fighting cells to treat cancer instead of chemo, radiation, or surgery.

“The immune cells in you, me, or your brother, your sister or another loved one is a natural resource that can be mined, utilized, multiplied, and then used as a treatment to better yourself,” said Robert Igarashi, Co-Founder of CytoSen.

The company started with the help of UCF’s Business Incubator program and is now joining forces with a major pharmaceutical company in what UCF says is the largest biotechnology company purchase in Central Florida history.

The merger will allow their cancer research to hit the fast track.

“What it really takes is money on a very large scale. Clinical trials are very expensive,” Igarashi said. “So, we wanted to take that leap to push our technology much further, faster.”

Lauren Rhodes found out she had brain cancer when she was a college freshman.

“We went to my apartment and packed it up, and I said goodbye to my friends not knowing when I would see them again,” said Rhodes.

Her chemo treatment left her immune system so weak, she contracted several deadly infections.

“I would’ve given anything for an alternative, because essentially we ended chemo early because we were afraid it was going to kill me,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes says she’s excited for the day no one else will have to go through what she did.

“I still have friends that are still going through it, so to know there’s another option for them – that’s incredible,” she said.

Igarashi says the potential cancer treatment still needs to go through clinical trials before it can be available to the general public.​