Mercia EIS Funds

Spin-out raises £2.4m for early cancer detection test

A university spin-out which has developed a way to detect cancer at an early stage using a simple blood test has completed a £2.4m funding round led by Mercia’s EIS funds.

The investment will allow ClinSpec Diagnostics (ClinSpec Dx) to further develop its technology and expand its team. The Glasgow-based company was founded in 2016 to commercialise research by Dr Matthew Baker at the University of Strathclyde. Through a combination of infra-red light and artificial intelligence, its ‘drop, dry, detect’ technology provides results in minutes.

Mercia first invested in the business in 2019. The latest round – which also includes funding from the Scottish Investment Bank, SIS Ventures, EOS Advisory and the University of Strathclyde – brings the total raised by the company so far to £4m.

Studies have shown ClinSpec’s technology has potential as a multi-cancer early detection test which could also indicate the type and severity of the tumour, allowing doctors and clinicians to prioritise the most effective treatments.

The new funding will allow it to complete its second brain cancer trial, develop an algorithm covering the most common cancers and create a further five jobs, taking its total headcount to 14. The company remains open for a further £1 million to prepare the groundwork for Series A funding.

Mark Hegarty, CEO of ClinSpec Dx, said: “Worldwide, 26,000 people die from cancer each day. Early detection is critical for effective treatment, but many cancers go undetected for too long. This funding is another significant step forward for ClinSpec Dx in our mission to detect cancer earlier and help to increase patient survival and quality of life.”