North East-based diagnostics company and Newcastle University spin-out, GlycoScoreDx, has secured £630,000 in equity funding alongside an additional £360,000 in grant funding to support business establishment and early development of its proprietary Prostate Cancer test.
The GlycoScore Prostate Cancer test is a simple, reliable blood test which can be used to accurately diagnose and risk-assess prostate cancer. The test detects a unique panel of three protein biomarkers that are important in disease progression. A subset of these markers can also be used to differentiate between low-grade and high-grade prostate cancer.
The bulk of the funding has been provided by Northstar Ventures, from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and the Northern Accelerator Seed Investment Fund, and the British Innovation Fund (managed by Milltrust International Group). Additional investment was provided by Milltrust Ventures and Oxbridge Capital.
The funding will be used to establish the business within the Centre for Life, Newcastle, and to initiate formal product development activities. It is anticipated that the test will be ready for commercialisation in under two years and that additional tests for other Oncology indications, based on GlycoScore’s underlying technology, will follow on.
GlycoScoreDx CEO, Allan Brown, commented “We are very grateful for the investment announced today, enabling us to accelerate development of our GlycoScore Prostate Cancer test which we believe will deliver significant healthcare benefits to patients and change the future of prostate cancer diagnosis”.
Matthew Hobbs, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said “Prostate Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK but the tests we currently use to diagnose it are simply not good enough. The current tests send many men without cancer for further investigations they don’t need, causing them distress and unnecessary side effects, and adding cost to the NHS. At the same time, those current tests also miss far too many aggressive cancers entirely. Improving diagnosis of prostate cancer is therefore of utmost importance and is a strategic priority for Prostate Cancer UK.
“That’s why we’re delighted that the research we funded to develop a new test led to such impressive early results and that GlycoScore has now secured the funding needed to take this research to the next level. We look forward to supporting the company through those next steps to ensure this exciting new research makes a difference to men as quickly as possible.”
Alex Buchan, Investment Director, NorthStar Ventures, said, “We’re pleased to be supporting the development of this innovative business in the North East, it is also another great example of the expertise and ambition that is prevalent in University spinouts here in the region.”
Guy Pengelley, Investment Director for the British Innovation Fund, added, “We are delighted to complete this milestone investment into GlycoScore, continuing the British Innovation Fund’s mission to invest into the most promising university spinouts and scientific expertise in the UK. We look forward to working alongside GlycoScore on development of the Prostate Cancer test and improving outcomes for the significant proportion of men worldwide who will sadly develop this disease in their lifetime”.
Lizzie Withington, Company Creation Manager at Newcastle University said: “GlycoScore is another fantastic example of the importance of creating spinouts from world-class research in the North East’s universities. Northern Accelerator set out to create successful businesses that not only create high quality jobs in the region, but take discoveries such as this life-changing test from Dr Jennifer Munkley’s research, enabling them to make an impact in the real world.”
For more information please contact:
Dr Allan Brown – Chief Executive Officer
M: +44 (0)7799 111086
About Northstar Ventures Limited
Northstar Ventures is a venture capital and social investment firm based in the North East. We provide funding for innovative, scalable businesses and high impact social enterprises. We’ve been supporting entrepreneurs since 2004, seeking out strong teams with great ideas that will drive high growth, scalable businesses, and sustainable charities. As the North East’s leading early stage investor, we have invested over £100m into start-ups, early stage businesses and high impact social enterprises. Our investment managers have a wealth of experience supporting new and growing businesses and bring commercial and operational experience, PhDs and MBAs, international careers and even a micro-business or two.
About the North East Fund
The North East Fund is a suite five venture capital and loan funds which was established in April 2018, to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses in the period to March 2023. The fund managers provide business development advice and investment finance to small and medium sized enterprises based in the seven Local Authority areas of North East England: Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Gateshead Sunderland and County Durham. The programme encourages investment in and the commercialisation of new technologies, including low carbon technologies, as well as stimulating new business creation, private investment and entrepreneurialism in the North East, with a view to creating over 2,500 new jobs. The North East Fund has overall responsibility for the programme, which is delivered through five separate funds, each managed by independent, FCA regulated fund managers. Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the programme, is available on The North East Fund’s website: www.northeastfund.org
The North East Fund has been established with funding from the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and from returns on previous North East based, publicly supported investment funds. It is jointly owned by the seven North East local authorities.
About the European Regional Development Fund
The North East Fund will receive up to £58,500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
About the European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend up to £60,000,000 to the North East Fund programme. The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. For more information, visit: http://www.eib.org/about/index.htm
About Milltrust International Group
With a unique multi-local multi-affiliate structure, Milltrust is an FCA authorised asset manager providing innovative impact investment solutions and delivering genuinely differentiated alpha to our investors around the globe.
About the British Innovation Fund
The British Innovation Fund recognises the world-class science and technology development that is being carried out in many of Britain’s top universities. The Fund invests in and nurtures impactful, early-stage companies – helping them reach their full potential and guiding them to world-wide recognition and success.
Now, more than ever, the university spinouts which form the British Innovation Fund’s investment universe require our support and funding to ensure that the cutting-edge science and technology being developed in British universities continues to progress in these challenging times.
About Prostate Cancer UK
– Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop prostate cancer damaging the lives of men and their families.
– Investing into finding better treatments and tests that could save thousands of lives.
– Working with the NHS to make sure men get access to breakthrough tests and treatments.
– Spreading the word about who is at risk of prostate cancer, especially to those at higher risk.
– Supporting people dealing with prostate cancer and providing health information. o Visit prostatecanceruk.org now to help beat this disease.
About prostate cancer
– Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men – and now the most commonly diagnosed of all cancers in the UK.
– More than 11,500 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year – that’s one man every 45 minutes.
– More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day.
– 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. This raises to 1 in 4 for black men.
– Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.
– A 30-second online risk checker is available at prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker
– Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and the risk increases with age. But the risk is higher for black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer, so they may wish to speak to their GP from age 45.
– Prostate cancer often has no symptoms so men shouldn’t wait to see changes before they act.
– Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service: www.prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Wednesdays.