Q-Cancer awarded £1.4m to develop QuantuMDx benchtop tumour profiler

23 November 2012

The UK government-backed Biomedical Catalyst programme has 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 three years, the device will have a dramatic impact on the rapid and accurate diagnosis and staging of cancer.

Genotyping tumours

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 commented, “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”.

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 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).


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