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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.–A drug invented at Purdue University that helps doctors detect ovarian cancer earlier has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The drug serves as an illuminating agent during surgery. It is called Cytalux and will be released by On Target Laboratories.

“We learned there was still a major problem experienced by surgeons in finding all of the malignant lesions during surgery. This dye circulates in the blood veins and vessels and it localizes to the tumor tissue. In a couple of hours, you have very good fluorescent dye accumulation in tumor tissue. When you turn on the fluorescent lamp, those lesions light up like bright stars against a black sky. It allows a surgeon to see exactly where these diseased tissues are located and they can go in and remove them,” said Purdue University’s Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery Dr. Philip Low in a video released Monday.

It allows surgeons to find additional tumors in 27% of the patients, which would have otherwise been left behind, according to results of the Phase 3 clinical trial.

“Dr. Low’s commitment to this technology has been unwavering. If it wasn’t for his ability to champion that early on and drive that from the early research stage, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Chris Barys, CEO and president of On Target Laboratories in the same video.

The drug is the first tumor-targeted fluorescent agent for ovarian cancer to be approved by the FDA.

Adverse reactions to the drug include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flushing, indigestion, chest discomfort, and itching.

Ovarian cancer is the number one cause of gynecologic cancer death in the United States. A woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer every 23 minutes in the United States.

The full video can be seen here.