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Alzheimer’s specialist raises £2.6m
A company that specialises in genetic testing for Alzheimer’s Disease has raised £2.6m to fund the commercial launch and international rollout of its novel service.
Cytox’s funding round was led by the GM&C Life Sciences Fund, managed by Catapult Ventures, alongside existing and new investors including Perivoli Innovations, the Rainbow Seed Fund, the University of Oxford and private investors.
Cytox has developed a genetic prognostic test that aims to predict the risk of someone developing Alzheimer’s Disease years before the first signs become apparent. The tests are based on the academic work of Dr Zuszanna Nagy at the University of Birmingham and formerly at University of Oxford and Professor John Hardy at University College London.
The investment will enable the company to launch this genetic testing platform and services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developing the next generation of dementia drugs. The investment will also be used to validate and launch a version of its Alzheimer’s Disease test as a service to US regulatory standards and to expand the technology to include differential diagnosis and prognosis of dementia.
In addition to the investment, Dr David Whitcombe, a venture partner with Catapult Ventures, will join the board of Cytox as a non-executive director. He co-founded DxS Diagnostics in 2000 to exploit technology that he developed at AstraZeneca, and sold the company to QIAGEN in 2009 for more than £100m.
Dr Richard Pither, chief executive of Cytox, said: “I’m extremely pleased to welcome Catapult Ventures as a new investor in Cytox and David to the board. David’s expertise in genetics, diagnostics and developing strong commercial partnerships will be extremely valuable to Cytox as we seek to commercialize our tests for Alzheimer’s Disease and grow Cytox as a leader in this area.”
Dr Whitcombe added: “Cytox is a very exciting company with a compelling offering in the assessment of individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Their genetic tests have demonstrated compelling results on the accuracy of prediction of developing the disease.
“I look forward to working with Richard and the team to fulfil the potential of their prognostic tests to better understand the disease and play a role in developing much needed therapeutics.”
Cytox has offices at Oxford Science Park in Oxfordshire and Alderley Park in Cheshire. Read more
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