Funding deal for brain cancer blood test pioneer
Matthew Baker and Jamie Hepburn
A Strathclyde University spinout company, ClinSpec Diagnostics, has received a £1.6 million package of support to help it develop a pioneering new blood test for the early detection of brain cancer.
The low cost test provides rapid results, giving doctors an accurate test for brain cancer and reducing delays in referral times, which will ultimately lead to lives being saved. Funding has come from EOS, Mercia Fund Managers, Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Edge and Innovate UK.
The innovative blood test technology could be in use in UK hospitals in three to four years, with further blood tests being developed by the company for other diseases, such as pancreatic and prostate cancer.
During a visit to the company, Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “The blood test demonstrates significant advancements in cancer detection methods, and will play a vital role in helping to save lives. This technology also paves the way for similar blood tests to be developed in the future for other diseases.
“By supporting this promising university spin-out, the Scottish Government is helping to translate key research outputs into practical medical innovations.”
Dr Mark Hegarty, CEO ClinSpec Diagnostics said: “We are delighted to have raised over £1.6 million of funding … enabling us to spinout from the University and progress to the next stage of clinical development. Scottish Enterprise support has been vital in helping us reach this milestone.”
The project previously received £600,000 of funding and support from Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Spinout Programme to build the prototype technology and develop the commercial proposition.
Andrew Henderson, Scottish Enterprise’s High Value Manufacturing and Health team leader, said: “ClinSpec is a fantastic example of how our support is helping to turn ground-breaking academic research from our world-class universities into globally competitive companies of scale.”
Dr Matthew J. Baker, one of the scientists working on the project, said: “It’s exciting to be able to move the science from the laboratory to the clinic, and I look forward to releasing the test for patients.
“Strathclyde is known for its innovative environment, which fosters research that makes a positive impact on people’s lives. Today marks an important milestone for Clinspec Diagnostics and the health services it will support – and ultimately, the patients and families that will benefit from the test.”