BIOCAPTIVA has announced an oversubscribed £2.1 million additional seed funding round.
The Edinburgh-based firm is developing the BioCaptis, which it describes as a revolutionary cell-free DNA (cfDNA) capture device designed to transform liquid biopsy testing for cancer management.
The financing was led by existing investor Archangels, a leading business angel syndicate, with a long track record of successfully investing in early-stage Scottish life sciences and technology companies.
It was joined by Scottish Enterprise and Cancer Research Horizon, the new innovation engine of Cancer Research UK, and new investor Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund.
The investment will be used to fund the company through the first in human trials with the BioCaptis, expected to generate its first data before the end of 2022, and to prepare for regulatory trials which are planned to start in 2023.
This technology, by providing higher quantities of cfDNA, increases the types and stages of cancers amenable to liquid biopsy testing thereby greatly expanding the number of patients who could benefit from this approach to cancer management.
Jeremy Wheeler, CEO of BIOCAPTIVA, said they were at the forefront of developing technology 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 beginning its first in 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 unleashing the full potential of liquid biopsy in cancer management to improve patient outcomes.”
Sarah Hardy, Director and Head of New Investments at Archangels, added: “In 2021, Archangels supported the spin-out of BIOCAPTIVA from the University of Edinburgh based on the technology developed from Professor Tim Aitman and Professor Mark Bradley’s research.
“Since then, the company has made remarkable progress and is poised to begin the first in-human trials with BioCaptis just over a year after its formation.
“We are pleased to lead this financing to support the company in generating its first in human data, and towards its ambition of ensuring that the BioCaptis device can play a key role in realizing the full potential of liquid biopsy testing for cancer management.”
Andrea Young, Fund Manager at Old College Capital, said they were delighted to support BIOCAPTIVA by joining this additional seed financing.
“The company’s technology is the result of collaborative research by two world-leading University of Edinburgh academics and its goals are perfectly aligned to the Old College Capital mandate,” she said.
The BioCaptis captures up to 100 times more cell free DNA (cfDNA) than a venous blood draw, yielding cfDNA in high quality and quantity for testing, addressing the major challenge of liquid biopsy in cancer management. This will potentially allow the testing of a far greater number of cancer types and stages in a much wider range of patients.