Fascinating technology

Cancer screening tech that could ‘transform’ the process has set millions back

A Scottish medical technology company has announced an additional £2.1m seed funding – in an oversubscribed funding round – to complete its first-in-human trials.

Based on research by University of Edinburgh professors Tim Aitman and Mark Bradley, Biocaptiva has developed BioCaptis, a device to “transform liquid biopsy testing”, which is a type of blood test commonly used in the cancer diagnosis and management.

The funding was led by existing investor Archangels, a syndicate of angel investors committed to successfully investing in early-stage Scottish life sciences and technology companies.

It was joined by Scottish Enterprise and Cancer Research Horizon, Cancer Research UK’s new innovation engine, as well as new investor Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture capital fund. .

BioCaptis can capture up to twice as much cell-free DNA as a conventional blood sample, increasing the quality and quantity available for testing.

This could therefore increase the types and stages of cancers that can be diagnosed by liquid biopsy tests so that more patients can benefit.

Jeremy Wheeler, CEO of Biocaptiva, said, “Biocaptiva is at the forefront of developing technologies to transform liquid biopsy testing in cancer management. We are pleased to have raised these additional funds as the company enters its next stage of development, with the BioCaptis entering its first human trials.

“These trials will allow us to generate important data before the end of 2022. This will be a key step before starting regulatory trials in 2023 as we move towards our goal of unlocking the full potential of liquid biopsy in the management of cancer to improve patient outcomes. ”

Sarah Hardy, Director and Head of New Investments at Archangels, added: “In 2021, Archangels supported the spin-off of Biocaptiva from the University of Edinburgh based on technology developed from the research of Professor Tim Aitman and Professor Mark Bradley. Since then, the company has made remarkable progress and is set to begin human trials with BioCaptis just over a year after its inception.

“We are excited to support the company in generating its first-in-human data and in its ambition to ensure that BioCaptis can play a key role in realizing the full potential of liquid biopsy testing for cancer management.

Kerry Sharp, Director of Entrepreneurship and Investment at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Biocaptiva is an innovative and exciting company with strong growth prospects. His BioCaptis device has the potential to truly transform the way cancer is diagnosed, tracked and managed.

“We look forward to seeing how its first-in-human trials progress, followed by regulatory trials, so that one day soon this exciting new technology can be put to use for patients.”