A clinical-stage diagnostics firm founded out of research carried out at Strathclyde has raised almost £10 million for its novel technology for early detection of multiple cancers.

The funding will allow University spin-out Dxcover Limited (formerly ClinSpec Dx) to develop its Liquid Biopsy Platform.

Series A funding of £7.5 million was provided by existing investors led by Eos Advisory LLP, along with investment from the University of Strathclyde, Mercia Fund Management, Scottish Enterprise, Social Investment Scotland Ventures and Norcliffe Capital. Boston-based life science investor Mark Bamforth of Thairm Bio also joined the round as Dxcover continues to develop its U.S. network.

The company also received a grant of £2.2 million from the European Innovation Council, following a rigorous competitive process.

Funding milestone

Dr. Mark Hegarty, CEO of Dxcover, said: “This is a very significant funding milestone in our mission to detect cancer early and improve survival and quality of life for patients.

“Having demonstrated our multi-cancer capability, we can now focus on building the pipeline of organ-specific tests, beginning with a multi-center study for CE IVDR marking of the Dxcover Brain Cancer test.

“We will also expand our data on colorectal cancer, one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and continue our work on collaborative projects.”

The novel liquid biopsy platform utilises infrared spectroscopy to analyse patient blood samples and artificial intelligence algorithms to detect the presence or absence of disease.

Brain cancer

Having initially proven the technology in the detection of brain cancer, the company expanded to eight cancers in 2022 and demonstrated enhanced ability to detect early-stage tumors with the Dxcover Platform.

Researchers Professor Matthew J Baker, Dr Holly Butler, Dr Mark Hegarty, and Dr David Palmer founded the company out of research at Strathclyde.

The award-winning company spun out from the University’s Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry in February 2019.

Dr Poonam Malik, Head of Investment at Strathclyde, said: “It is exciting to support the University of Strathclyde spinout company Dxcover with a follow-on investment in this funding round through the Strathclyde Inspire Investment Fund (SIIF) along with other existing co-investors.

Dxcover is an early-stage company whose technology promises effective early detection of a wide range of cancers, delivering significant cost and potential efficacy benefits over existing cancer detection platforms. 

“Early clinical results relating to multi-cancer detection have been positive and the company now intends to target industry partners to prove and commercialise applications for organ-specific cancers.  A successful outcome for Dxcover will deliver strongly against many of the University’s strategic ambitions.”

Professor Baker, said: “Early detection of cancer requires analysis of all the vital signals that are present in early-stage disease. Our pan-omic analysis surveys all of these vital signals and delivers new data.

“Our approach is complementary to other technologies and has the ability to enhance them.”