Home Breast Cancer Cambridge start-up raises fresh cash for breast cancer technology

Cambridge start-up raises fresh cash for breast cancer technology

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A Cambridge-based start-up that is developing technology to help simplify breast cancer treatments has raised £15m in new cash, amid growing fears of a backlog in the NHS for patients.

Endomag has raised funds from existing investors, including Draper Esprit, which led the round. It takes the total raised by the company since it was founded to more than £30m. 

The company focuses on breast cancer and has developed tools that help surgeons find the tissue they are looking for, be that tumours or lymph nodes implicated in the spread of the tumour. Traditionally, surgeons use nuclear medicine to find these tissues ahead of surgery, but Endomag’s technology relies on magnetism, using magnetic seeds to mark potentially cancerous tissue, which can then be located later.

Endomag said this allows for less unnecessary surgery, because it can be easier to locate clinically suspicious nodes. It also means the process of locating potentially cancerous tissue can be done in more settings outside hospitals. 

During the pandemic, this had been particularly useful, as breast cancer patients had been split out from primary care wards and placed in what are known as “cold hubs”, where treatments can take place outside of Covid-19.

In these cold hubs, there is no access to nuclear medicine. Various NHS trusts have instead adopted Endomag’s technology to allow them to continue treatment for breast cancer patients.

Chief executive Dr Eric Mayes said the company’s technology “had and will speed up” the process. He said demand had “pretty markedly” increased during the past year, faster than the company had anticipated.

David Cummings, a partner at Draper Esprit, said: “Endomag has built and strengthened their business in the US, Europe and here in the UK, and knowing how many more people could be helped by their technology, leading this £15m round was something we had to do.”

The new funds will be used to develop new technologies and grow into new markets. 

Growing uptake of Endomag’s technology in Britain comes as concerns spiral over the huge numbers of cancer patients who have been unable to receive treatments or diagnoses during the pandemic.

According to cancer charity Macmillan, since the lockdown, more than 655,000 patients had received disruption to their cancer care, while more than 30,000 people should have started treatment but had not yet been able to do so.

The charity has warned that it could take several years for waiting lists and referral times to return to pre-pandemic levels.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/11/30/cambridge-start-up-raises-fresh-cash-breast-cancer-technology/

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