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Cancer diagnostics firm completes £3.5M funding round

ClinSpec Diagnostics Limited (ClinSpec Dx), the Glasgow-based developer of liquid biopsies for early detection of cancer, has reached its round two funding target of £3.5M by securing an additional investment of £1.1M.

The company, which is a spinout from the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, has secured the £1.1m investment from Norcliffe Capital Limited, the University of Strathclyde, Eos Advisory and the founders.

The first tranche of the investment (£2.4M) was secured in 2020 and led by Mercia’s EIS Funds with Scottish Enterprise, profit with purpose investor SIS Ventures, Eos Advisory and the University of Strathclyde.

Fast, inexpensive and easy to undertake, the ClinSpec Dx liquid biopsy is a blood test using revolutionary technology based on the world-leading research of Dr Matthew Baker. Through a combination of infra-red light and artificial intelligence, its ‘drop, dry, detect’ technology provides results in minutes.

Worldwide, 26,000 people die from cancer each day. 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 liquid biopsy 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.

Mark Hegarty, CEO, ClinSpec Dx said: “Achieving the £3.5m target enables us to accelerate our plans. We will shortly complete our move into new lab and office facilities and increase staffing to 15, bringing forward key operational and commercial appointments.

“Our two clinical studies on detection of brain cancer have been successful and papers are in draft for publication over the next 6 months. This, plus the development of our multi-cancer platform covering the most common cancers, will form the bedrock for Series A investment in 2022, with the target of commercial launch in 2024.

“We are also delighted to have further strengthened our leadership team by the appointment of Prof David Onions of Norcliffe Capital to the Board of Directors.”

Professor David Onions, Adviser to Norcliffe Capital said: “The team at Norcliffe Capital are delighted to be supporting the next phase of development of Clinspec Dx. Early diagnosis of cancer is critical for effective treatment but can require complex and expensive procedures. Clinspec Dx has developed a revolutionary, rapid, diagnostic system for cancer that only requires a drop of blood. We were very impressed by the results from the clinical studies on brain cancer and the clear strategy of the company; first in widening the range of cancers being examined and then moving to clinical application of the technology after the Series A funding round next year.”

ClinSpec Dx has raised £5.1million to date, including a first round of seed funding in 2019 led by Eos Advisory alongside Mercia’s EIS Funds and Scottish Enterprise, as well as grant funding from the Higgs EDGE Special Award, and from Innovate UK through the precision medicine accelerator fund.


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