By Kristy Dorsey

A spin-out from the University of Strathclyde has raised £2.4 million in fresh funding to further development of a test to detect a variety of cancers at an early stage, when they are easier to treat.

The money will allow ClinSpec Diagnostics to hire a further five people, taking its scientific and operations team up to 14, as it continues work on a simple blood test for a variety of common cancers. The technology is based on research by Matthew Baker from the university’s department of pure and applied chemistry.

Since the company was established in 2016, studies on brain, prostate and pancreatic cancers have highlighted the technology’s potential in the early detection of multiple cancers. Through a combination of infra-red light and artificial intelligence, its “drop, dry and detect” technology provides results in minutes.

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It is said to have the potential to detect the type and severity of the tumour, allowing doctors to prioritise and fast-track the most appropriate and effective treatments.

The latest round of funding takes the total raised to date by ClinSpec to £4m, following an initial seed funding in 2019 led by EoS Advisory alongside Mercia’s EIS Funds, the Scottish Investment Bank’s Co-Investment Fund and grant money from the Higgs EDGE Special Award and Innovate UK. Existing investors were joined by in the fresh fundraising by SIS Ventures.

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The company remains open for a further £1m of investment as it seeks to complete a second brain cancer trial and develop a multi-cancer algorithm covering the most common cancers.

“Worldwide, 26,000 people die from cancer each day,” chief executive Mark Hegarty said. “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.”