NEW YORK – GenoMe Diagnostics on Tuesday said that it has raised £1.4 million ($1.7 million) in private and public funding to support the development of a blood test called OvaMe for early-stage detection of ovarian cancer.
Founded in 2019 as a spinout from Queen's University Belfast, GenoMe Diagnostics' platform relies on droplet digital PCR technology to detect DNA methylation changes in blood.
Qubis, the commercialization wing of QUB, and Co-Fund NI, a Northern Ireland equity fund overseen by Clarendon Fund Managers, contributed to the round, as did Chester, UK-based Deepbridge Capital.
The funding also included a £500,000 grant from Innovate UK, the country's national innovation agency, that will support a project involving GenoMe Diagnostics and researchers at QUB. According to the company, the project will revolve around developing its platform for the early detection of other cancer types.
Belfast-based GenoMe Diagnostics previously raised £300,000 in a pre-seed round in 2021. The new funding will support the development of OvaMe as well as regulatory filings in the EU, the UK, and North America.
GenoMe Diagnostics also expects to expand its headcount, adding to its sales and marketing teams as well as hiring new laboratory scientists.
CEO Shannon Beattie said in a statement that early-stage cancer tests such as OvaMe could be used to improve patient survival and quality of life. She called the funding round a "milestone" and said it would be "pivotal in opening conversations" with public health agencies in order to take the firm's tests to market.
Though GenoMe Diagnostics' long-term ambition is to see its tests adopted in public screening programs, its first use cases will be for disease monitoring and making diagnoses, she added.