Ovarian cancer diagnostics company GenoME raises £300,000 in funding

Queen’s University spin-out develops blood tests for earlier, more accurate diagnosis

In 2020, GenoME Diagnostics won All Ireland Best New Start Company in the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition. Photograph: iStock

In 2020, GenoME Diagnostics won All Ireland Best New Start Company in the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition. Photograph: iStock

 

Ovarian cancer diagnostics company GenoME Diagnostics has raised £300,000 (€347,000) in seed funding.

The Queen’s University Belfast spin-out develops novel blood tests for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The cutting-edge technology can produce cost-effective diagnostics, helping to reduce misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of the disease.

The round was supported by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, Deepbridge Capital and Co-Fund NI.

GenoME Diagnostics was created after almost a decade of research by Dr Paul Mullan, Dr James Beirne and Dr Laura Feeney at the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research (PGJCCR) of Queen’s University, with Dr Shannon Beattie joining the team.

“Our work benefits women who are at risk of developing ovarian cancer, or who present with possible symptoms,” said Dr Beattie, chief operating officer of GenoME Diagnostics. “Early diagnosis can ultimately save lives, as well as reduce cost pressures for healthcare providers.”

“We also aim to benefit clinical trial providers and drug developers, by developing accurate and cost-effective companion diagnostics, to better stratify patients and increase their chance of response to novel therapies.”

Competition winner

The company was formed following the team’s selection for funding from Innovate UK.

In 2020 GenoME Diagnostics won All Ireland Best New Start Company in the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition.

“Ovarian cancer is often dubbed ‘the silent killer’ due to the non-specific symptoms of this disease and the suboptimal diagnostic tests. It is often only diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, when it has already spread, with around 75 per cent of women diagnosed in the later stages of disease,” Dr Mullan said. “Earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancers could potentially dramatically increase patient survival, by catching tumours when they are small and less likely to have spread, or have developed resistance to chemotherapy.”