MetaMedical™ Solutions Inc

Oesophageal cancer diagnostic awarded £1m grant by Innovate UK

A Cambridge-based gastrointestinal health firm has been awarded a £1m ($1.25m) grant to pursue its first major precision medicine project aimed at tackling eosinophilic esophagitis.

Diagnostics company Cyted has been given the funds by the UK government’s business grant arm, Innovate UK, to further develop its non-endoscopic diagnostic test, EndoSign, which has previously seen use as part of tests to identify patients at risk of developing oesophagal cancer.

Eosinophilic esophagitis can affect up to 1 in 1000 individuals and can result in damage to the oesophagus causing pain swelling and difficulty swallowing. The company said it aims for the test to  tell clinicians how likely a patient is to respond to a certain kind of therapy or diet, indicating the correct treatment for the patient at the time.

Marcel Gehrung, CEO of Cyted said: “This grant allows us to build on our existing diagnostic technology to help many more people with undiagnosed or ongoing oesophageal conditions.

“Eosinophilic Esophagitis is treatable, but often undetected until a patient develops complications. Our EndoSign platform will make a real difference to patients by decreasing the need for endoscopy and improving treatment decisions.”

Traditionally digestive conditions would be investigated by way of an endoscopy examination which can be both invasive and time-consuming for clinics.

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By GlobalData

The EndoSign system works by way of a dissolvable vitamin pill containing a sponge attached to a piece of surgical thread, itself attached to an applicator. The patient swallows the pill which dissolves in the stomach and after approximately seven minutes the sponge is removed from the patient’s digestive system by way of the thread, picking up cells from the whole length of the digestive tract as it is removed.

The sponge is then packaged and sent off for further diagnostic tests that will later be returned with a report detailing its findings.

It comes as the latest in a series of recent grants from Innovate UK into the health technology space across the UK, with the Scotland-based start-up, Bioliberty, receiving £435,000 ($570,000) to accelerate production of a robotic glove designed to help rehabilitate patients recovering from a stroke.

Innovate UK also recently launched its Innovative Devices Access Pathway pilot backed by £10m ($12.5m) in funding aimed at giving patients greater access to innovative technologies and support medical device companies across the UK.

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