Zilico secures further £750K funding for cervical cancer test

6 November 2012

Zilico Ltd has secured £750K investment from The North West Fund for BioMedical. This follows £1m invesetment announced in June 2012.

Zilico Limited was originally spun out from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The company is developing a new system with two applications to provide ‘real time’ results for tests for cervical cancer, removing several weeks of waiting for a diagnosis. The system consists of a portable hand-held device, a single use disposable sleeve and docking station. This system is safe, painless, and accurate.

The technology used, called electrical impedance spectroscopy, can measure the resistivity of cells and so detects changes as cells progress from normal to precancerous and then to cancerous.

Cervical cancer affects around 500,000 women worldwide each year and is responsible for 300,000 deaths. Under current screening practices in the UK, a woman will have a Pap smear or LBC test every three or five years. If the test is positive, she will be referred to a colposcopy clinic for a detailed cervical examination.

The first application of the device, ZedScan I, is positioned within the referral population, and could help in reducing the number of biopsies taken. The second application, which is under development, will be positioned as a screening device and will help to reduce the subjectivity and time-taken with current tests.

The referral application completed a pivotal European trial of 400 women in 2011 across three hospitals in the UK and Ireland. The company has been disseminating these results at key scientific meetings across the world.

Chief Executive of Zilico, Sameer Kothari, said: “I welcome the ongoing support of the existing shareholders and I am also pleased to bring in new investors. This investment will significantly help with our launch plans of ZedScan in 2013.”

Zilico says it will use the investment to complete the manufacture of commercial devices and to establish its route to market for EU and other territories.

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