18 Oct 2018
We are investing in a partnership between Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospital Trust that is working on a breakthrough in skin cancer testing which could potentially save lives and save the NHS millions of pounds.
AMLo Biosciences is receiving £375,000 investment from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures. Our funding is one part of a bigger investment totalling £890,000 that is going to support the ground-breaking project.
Melanoma is increasing worldwide, and is the biggest cancer related killer of 20-35 year olds in the UK. Until now it has been difficult to accurately assess which tumours may be low risk or high risk, and ensure patients get appropriate treatment and follow up care.
Originally a team from Newcastle University and South Tees NHS Hospital Trust identified biomarkers associated with disease spread and AMLo Biosciences has developed and validated them as a new test that can predict melanomas that are genuinely low-risk and those that are high-risk with greater sensitivity and specificity than any other prognostic test.
Dr Marie Labus, CEO of AMLo Biosciences said, “There are over 17,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the UK alone every year, and the number is increasing year on year. It has been difficult to ascertain who is low or high risk and so identify who needs follow up care and those that don’t. It has taken three years to develop and test the prognostic kit and we are obtaining regulatory approval for its use in Europe that will improve outcomes for patients and save healthcare services money worldwide. In the UK we anticipate the savings to the NHS could be around £38million a year.”
Alex Buchan, Investment Director at Northstar Ventures said, “We are excited by this innovative partnership and the huge potential it has for making such a difference to people’s lives and healthcare resources. It is a really exciting breakthrough by experts right here in the North East which will have far reaching affects worldwide. It is exactly the kind of cutting edge initiative we want to support and are delighted to be able to invest in this important development.”
David Huntley, Head of Company Creation at Newcastle University, said, “We are very
excited about the future prospects of AMLo Biosciences and the benefits that it promises for melanoma testing. We see this new company as testimony both to the power of Newcastle University research and to the commercial benefits of the Northern Accelerator programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and is successfully creating high technology spin-out companies by attracting talented business leaders to innovative commercial opportunities both created and developed in the north east of England."