GenoME Diagnostics has just secured over €1.5 million (£1.4 million) to develop its solution for earlier and more accurate detection of ovarian cancer. The Belfast-based team now plans to expand.
Spotting cancer early is critical. It means that treatment can get underway before cancer spreads and can drastically increase the chance of survival. When it comes to ovarian cancer, more than 9 in 10 women diagnosed at its earliest stage survive their disease for at least 5 years. This falls to just over 1 in 10 women when ovarian cancer is diagnosed at the most advanced stage.
Spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast, GenoME Diagnostics, has developed a solution that makes diagnosis faster and more accurate. The startup has just secured new investments to expand.
- Over €1.5 million (£1.4 million) was secured in an investment supported by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, Co-Fund NI (managed by Clarendon Fund Managers) and Deepbridge Capital.
- It included an additional £500k InnovateUK Biomedical Catalyst grant for a project in collaboration with QUB.
- Adds to a £300k pre-seed round secured in 2021.
GenoME Diagnostics is built on over a decade of academic research at the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research by founders Prof Paul Mullan, Dr James Beirne and Dr Laura Feeney. In 2019 Dr Shannon Beattie and Chris Mosedale came on board with the ovarian cancer project during the InnovateUK ICURe programme.
Dr Shannon Beattie, CEO of GenoME Diagnostics said: “At GenoME, we are aiming to improve patient survival and quality of life through affordable and highly accurate tests. This is a significant funding round for us and will help to further develop these life-changing products.
“Currently, a large proportion of ovarian cancer cases are caught at the later stages of the disease, so patients, unfortunately, have a very poor survival rate. Cancers detected at an earlier stage provide much more opportunity for intervention and improve patient survival.
“Milestones like these will be pivotal in opening conversations with public health bodies and allowing the team to progress our tests further to market. Our ultimate long-term ambition is to eventually enter public screening programmes, however, our first market is disease monitoring and diagnosis.”
The innovative team’s lead product, OvaME, offers a novel blood test for earlier and more accurate detection of ovarian cancer. The plan is to build upon the research and testing to extend the tech to additional cancer types.
Chris Mosedale, Chief Business Officer of GenoME Diagnostics said: “The pipeline we have used to develop our ovarian test can be applied to a wide range of diseases and applications, even beyond cancer. There is very strong evidence that our technology could be used to diagnose other cancers and illnesses. This funding round will enable us to research and test this assumption further, improving the chances for more cancer patients.”
This new investment will also be used to complete lab testing, file for regulatory approval in the EU, expand its regulatory approach to the UK and North America, and, continue research development.
Stuart Gaffikin, Investment Manager at Clarendon Fund Managers, said: “Co-Fund NI is really pleased to be supporting this investment into GenoME to help its team with the development of potentially life-changing technology. We hope this investment will help the company reach the next phase of development as it seeks to improve the diagnosis process for cancer patients.”
Anne Dornan, Enterprise Manager at QUBIS, added: “This is an important milestone for GenoME, and QUBIS is excited to be supporting the company through its next stages of development, working alongside our investment partners and building on a great team.”
Ben Carter, Head of Life Sciences at Deepbridge Capital, added: “GenoME is a great example of the type of innovative company that the funding via UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme is designed to support. We are delighted to be collaborating with QUBIS, Clarendon and InnovateUK to provide GenoME with the funding and resources required to take their next commercial and scientific steps; which ultimately could save and improve lives.”