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Arcis Biotechnology Group aiming to raise £2m for prostate cancer testing research

7 February 2018

Warrington-based biotech firm Arcis Biotechnology Group is bidding to raise £2m to step up research and development for revolutionary prostate cancer testing.

It will and accelerate commercial roll-out of ground-breaking test of rapid DNA/RNA extraction and preservation products that enable earlier and more accurate cancer detection.

Arcis is seeking cash from investors to finalise the development of the prostate cancer screening test direct from a patient’s urine sample.

Arcis has already proven it can stabilise and detect multiple fragile cancer biomarkers in urine.

These biomarkers are the body’s early warning signals that a cell is mutating and turning cancerous but to date there has been no effective simple diagnostic test for prostate cancer.

The current well-known “PSA blood test” is relatively inaccurate and often leads to ‘false positives’ which leads to unnecessary patient trauma and stress.

The Arcis team is closely collaborating with the University of Surrey led by Professor Hardev Pandha, director of the Surrey Cancer Research Institute and a consultant oncologist specialising in prostate cancer.

The University team, with funds from the Prostate Project Charity, have discovered a more accurate biomarker for prostate cancer.

Prof Pandha said: “The collaboration with Arcis is producing very positive results and we are genuinely excited at the prospect of a revolutionary diagnostic test for prostate cancer, suitable for adoption by the NHS.

“As well as detecting cancer, the collaboration is also focusing on whether the test predicts the volume of cancer present in the patient.

“We are confident that a significantly more accurate prostate cancer diagnostic test can be brought to the market in the near future.”

Existing investors, including Calculus Capital VCT plc (the Company’s lead EIS/VCT investor), are also investing in this round which has already raised nearly £690,000 of the £2m being sought.

“This information is crucial as many small cancers can be monitored without treatment, versus the larger ‘significant’ cancers which do need prompt treatment.

This would truly be a game-changer for clinicians and what the field is waiting for.”

Dr Jan Rogers, the chief science officer of Arcis, said: “Preserving these fragile cancer biomarkers directly from a patient’s urine sample is a massive step forward as it facilitates a simple, non-invasive test that could even be done at home.