Abcodia today announced that it has raised £5.25million funding from existing and new investors to bring the world’s most sensitive and specific ovarian cancer screening test, ROCA® to market. Cambridge Innovation Capital and Scottish Equity Partners co-led the funding round.
Dr Julie Barnes, Abcodia’s CEO, welcomed the funding and commented: “The funding will allow Abcodia to launch the ROCA® test in the UK this summer and US markets later in 2015. This is the first cancer screening test that we are bringing to market and we are excited about its proven high performance. We feel passionately that the ROCA® test will make a real difference in the lives of women at risk of developing this aggressive form of cancer.
The funding will help build operations and commercial teams in the UK and establish our US presence while continuing to grow our product pipeline focused on improving early cancer diagnosis.”
The financing was co-led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), who join existing investors Albion Ventures and UCL Business. Dr Robert Tansley, from CIC and Jan Rutherford, from SEP have been appointed to Abcodia’s Board.
Dr Robert Tansley, Investment Director at CIC (pictured), said: “The major unmet need in early detection of ovarian cancer and the unprecedented clinical validation behind the ROCA® test provided a compelling body of evidence for CIC’s investment. We are excited to support this ground-breaking test and bring it to the market so women around the world can feel empowered with more knowledge and more options.”
The ROCA® test’s proven performance was reaffirmed in a study from the UKCTOCS trial at UCL, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology this month. The publication showed the ROCA® test could detect ovarian cancer more accurately than existing methods and before symptoms occur.
Jan Rutherford, partner at SEP, said: “Abcodia is one of the most exciting businesses involved in the early detection of cancer. Its novel data driven approach, underpinned by its unique bio bank and its strategic partnership with Cancer Research UK, has the potential to materially enhance the way biomarkers are developed, allowing earlier disease diagnosis and improved patient outcomes.
“We are delighted to invest in such an innovative company and look forward to the launch of the ROCA test, initially through a number of private clinics in the UK this summer.”