Award–Winning Ovarian Cancer Diagnostic company GenoME Diagnostics, a spin out from Queen’s University Belfast, has secured £300,000 following a successful seed funding round supported by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, Deepbridge Capital and Co–Fund NI which is part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance portfolio.
GenoME Diagnostics specialises in developing novel blood tests for the earlier and more accurate diagnosis of ovarian cancer, utilizing cutting–edge technology to provide user–friendly and cost–effective diagnostics to reduce misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of the disease.
The Company was created as a result of 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) at Queen’s University. Dr Shannon Beattie joined the team and was selected to participate in the Innovate UK ‘Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) programme’ in 2019. This led to a successful application for Innovate UK funding and the formation of the company. In 2020 the company was crowned the All Ireland Best New Start Company in the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition.
Dr Shannon Beattie, COO of GenoME Diagnostics commented; “Our work benefits women who are at risk of developing ovarian cancer, or who present with possible symptoms. 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.”
Co–Founder, Dr Paul Mullan added; “Ovarian cancer is often dubbed ‘the silent killer’ due to the non–specific symptoms of this disease and the sub–optimal diagnostic tests. It is often only diagnosed in the later stages of the disease when it has already spread, with around 75% of women diagnosed in the later stages of disease. 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.”
Anne Dornan, Enterprise Network Manager at QUBIS, said; ‘GenoME Diagnostics builds on 10 years of research at Queen’s and the team has made great progress on their commercialisation journey. GenoME has the potential to improve outcomes for women at risk of developing ovarian cancer across the globe, QUBIS along with the other funders involved, look forward to supporting the company through its early–stage development, and wish the team every success for the future.
Ben Carter, Investment Manager at Deepbridge Capital, commented:
“We are delighted to be supporting the GenoME team develop and commercialise this exciting and important work, via the Deepbridge Life Sciences SEIS. GenoME has a remarkable founding team and is supported by excellent science and research, meaning the Company represents exactly the type of innovative Company that the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme is designed to help fund.“
Co–Fund NI is part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance portfolio and part funded by European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020. Clarendon Fund Managers manages Co–Fund NI.