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Backing for BioCaptiva’s cancer breakthrough device

Jeremy Wheeler: ‘significant impact’

Scottish bio-tech company, BioCaptiva, has developed a device that could revolutionise the early diagnosis and monitoring of difficult to detect cancers. 

The University of Edinburgh spin-out has raised over £1m in seed funding from Edinburgh-based business angel investment syndicate, Archangels, and Scottish Enterprise, to help develop the technology. 

To prepare the company for this next stage in its development, BioCaptiva has appointed Dr Frank Armstrong as non-executive chairman and Dr Stephen Little as a non-executive director.

BioCaptiva’s device is based on a decade of research at the University of Edinburgh, led by Professor Tim Aitman, Director of the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, and Professor Mark Bradley of the University’s School of Chemistry. Both researchers are co-founders and directors of the new company.

Prototypes indicate the potential to detect early-stage cancers in patients without the need for a surgical biopsy and promising new approaches for monitoring and detecting disease recurrence which is not currently possible. This should mean it is possible to gain deeper insights into tumour biology resulting in better patient outcomes.

The seed investment will enable BioCaptiva to in-license the technology and carry out its first trials to prove its safe use in humans. BioCaptiva has been launched with the support of Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service.

Should the technology prove successful, BioCaptiva plans to scale up its technology ahead of regulatory clinical trials, scheduled for completion during 2024. 

The market for BioCaptiva’s technology is projected to be valued at more than $6bn by 2025.

Commenting on the prospects for the BioCollector, Jeremy Wheeler, CEO of BioCaptiva, said: “We are confident that this platform technology can make a significant impact in this important area and, ultimately, enable cancers to be detected more quickly and accurately, enabling patients to receive precision cancer treatment as early as possible.”

IBioIC commits £11 million to biotech skills

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) has awarded 15 grants to fund PhD projects at biotechnology companies, marking a commitment of more than £11 million to future green skills since the centre’s inception in 2014.

A range of start-ups, SMEs, and large companies will share a combined package of £2.8m from IBioIC and the UK-wide Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The funding will allow pioneering research projects to employ the skills of PhD students over a four-year study programme. 

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