Biomedical Catalyst funds "tumour profiling while you wait" based on QuantuMDx's world-leading nanowire technology


Biomedical Catalyst funds "tumour profiling while you wait" based on QuantuMDx's world-leading nanowire technology

Newcastle, UK, October 31, 2012. The government-backed Biomedical Catalyst programme announced major funding for the ground-breaking Q-CANCER project which will integrate QuantuMDx Group's rapid on-chip lab processes and develop the first sub-20 minute tumour profiler. When commercialized within the next 3 years, the device will have a dramatic impact on the rapid and accurate diagnosis and staging of cancer. Q-CANCER has the potential to ease the suffering and prolong the lives of the 12.7m newly diagnosed cancer sufferers, globally, by enabling surgeons to immediately remove most, if not all of the tumour and oncologists to prescribe the correct treatment regime according to the type of cancer developed.

The £2.8m project, with £1.4m awarded by the Biomedical Catalyst, will further develop QuantuMDx Group's platform technology to build a low cost, fully integrated, sample-to-result benchtop device that will enable either histopathologists themselves or lab technicians, to perform multiplex genotyping and tumour staging and profiling, within minutes. They will also be able to use formalin fixed or fresh tissue samples, thus allowing for easy integration into standard practice.

Elaine Warburton, CEO comments: "Currently tumour samples are sent away to a centralized sequencing laboratory, which can take several weeks to turnaround results, usually at a very high price which is not routinely affordable to many economies. As far as we are aware, QuantuMDx's current underlying technologies, which can break up a sample and extract the DNA in under 5 minutes, carry out 25-30 cycle PCR in under 10 minutes and detect hundreds of DNA targets within minutes, represents a world first for complex molecular diagnostics.  To now integrate these into a very low cost tumour-profiling device, producing results in minutes, represents a life-long goal for QuantuMDx's founders.  We are delighted the Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council, who manage the Biomedical Catalyst programme, have chosen to support this distinguished project, that also has the potential to lead to numerous follow-on applications in non-medical fields and will almost certainly bring the UK back to the forefront as leaders in diagnostic innovation".

The Project brings together the nanotechnology and chemistry expertise of The Universities of Newcastle and Sheffield respectively with the specialist Oncology expertise and cancer networks of Leaders in Oncology Limited (London), the sample prep technology of Magna Parva Limited (Leicester) and the design and engineering expertise of The Technology Partnership (Cambridge).

About QuantuMDx Group

QuantuMDx Group is one of the most exciting medical device biotechs to emerge from the UK.  With its headquarters at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, UK, the last 5 years has seen the company grow from its humble beginnings in a South of England based 'biotech garage lab' to a multi-national company with pan-global collaborations, partnerships and even its own commercial genomics lab. Combining the business acumen of health professional and entrepreneur CEO Elaine Warburton with the far-reaching vision of inventor and CSO Jonathan O'Halloran and the clinical and ethical guidance of Prof Sir John Burn, the company has developed a suite of proprietary on-chip, molecular diagnostic and sequencing technologies – sample prep, DNA extraction, PCR and detection using a nanowire biosensor - which it is currently integrating into a suite of handheld and benchtop devices for rapid, accurate and very low cost assays for genomic and infectious disease applications along with its  "Last-Gen" T2T sequencer (telomere to telomere whole genome sequencing).