Efforts to improve the early detection of cancer have received a significant boost with a £2.4 million funding deal to support the further development of innovative testing technology.
Glasgow-based ClinSpec Diagnostics Limited (ClinSpec Dx), a spinout from the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde, has developed a way of detecting cancer at an early stage using a simple blood test. Since the company was established in 2016, studies on brain, prostate and pancreatic cancers have highlighted the technology’s potential as a multi-cancer early detection test.
This latest investment allows ClinSpec Dx to progress its multi-cancer development program, including completion of its second brain cancer trial, and the development of a multi-cancer algorithm covering the most common cancers.
Led by CEO Mark Hegarty, the mission-driven business also plans to hire a further five employees to strengthen the scientific and operations teams, taking its total headcount to fourteen.
Fast, inexpensive and easy to undertake, the blood test uses revolutionary technology, based on the world-leading research of Dr Matthew Baker at Strathclyde. Through a combination of infra-red light and artificial intelligence, its ‘drop, dry, detect’ technology provides results in minutes.
Earlier diagnosis of cancer results in significantly higher survival rates compared to late-stage diagnosis, increasing the availability of treatment options and improving chances of recovery and a better quality of life. The blood test also has the potential to indicate the type and severity of the tumour, allowing doctors and clinicians to prioritise and fast-track the most appropriate and effective treatments.
The funding round was led by Mercia’s EIS Funds with Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, profit with purpose investor SIS Ventures, EoS Advisory and the University of Strathclyde.
The company has raised £4 million to date, including a first round of seed funding in 2019 led by EoS Advisory alongside Mercia’s EIS Funds and the Scottish Investment Bank’s Co-Investment Fund, as well as grant funding from the Higgs EDGE Special Award, and from Innovate UK through the precision medicine accelerator fund.
It remains open for a further £1 million to accelerate development, build value and prepare the groundwork for Series A funding.