Oxford Cancer Analytics (OXcan): Pioneering Early Cancer Detection with £3M Funding Boost

January 11, 2023

Oxford Cancer Analytics (OXcan): Pioneering Early Cancer Detection with £3M Funding Boost

Oxford Cancer Analytics (OXcan) has emerged as a beacon of hope in the fight against cancer, securing a substantial £3 million investment in its latest funding round. Led by Eka Ventures, the round witnessed participation from key players like LifeArc, Mega Robo Technologies, Oxford Technology Management, and individual investors with a strong commitment to value addition.

This injection of funds brings OXcan's total raised capital to an impressive £4.5 million, reinforcing its position as a promising Oxford-based startup with a significant presence inToronto. The newfound capital is earmarked for expanding OXcan's groundbreaking international studies and developing products aimed at combating the deadliest cancers through the power of liquid biopsy early detection.

OXcan's visionary approach centres on pioneering a new era of blood-based liquid biopsy tests designed for the early detection of cancer. The multidisciplinary team at OXcan is leveraging cutting-edge proteomics and machine learning methodologies, aiming to detectlethal cancers at an early stage when the possibility of a cure is still viable.

The conventional scenario in cancer diagnosis often involves late-stage detection, rendering the disease incurable.Malignancies like lung cancer, lacking effective screening methods for early detection, contribute significantly to cancer-related deaths. Lung cancer, notorious for its asymptomatic early stages, demands innovative solutions for timely identification.

Dr. Peter Jianrui Liu, OXcan's CEOand co-founder, explains, “At OXcan, we are using state-of-art and unbiased high-throughput proteomics approaches to examine hundreds and thousands of proteins in blood samples from the largest studies of their kind for the first time. Combined with proprietary and tailored machine learning approaches, the results are products that fully integrate with existing care pathways and can detect and localise the deadliest cancers with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity.”

OXcan's focus extends beyond mere innovation; the company is actively collaborating with more than 10 healthcare centres globally, armed with tens of thousands of blood samples for ongoing product development. Notably, OXcan has garnered support from esteemed organisations such as the Francis Crick Institute, Cancer Research UK, and prominent experts in proteomics and medical oncology.

Andreas Halner, OXcan’s Presidentand COO, emphasises the importance of an inter disciplinary approach, stating,“There is much global excitement about the application of machine learning inmedicine. Ultimately, this potential can only be realised if robust mathematical methodology is coupled with clinical expertise. That’s why at OXcan, both rigorous science and an intimate understanding of clinical care pathways are essential to best help patients at risk of cancer and patients who already have cancer.”

The need for early cancer detection is paramount, given that cancer accounts for nearly one in six global deaths, as reported by the World Health Organisation. OXcan's mission to revolutionise cancer detection aligns with the potential to reduce mortality rates significantly through early intervention.

OXcan's groundbreaking technology revolves around liquid biopsy blood tests, an increasingly promising avenue for early cancer detection. The focus on cell-free DNA and targeted protein panels extracted from tissue data has generated excitement within the scientific community. OXcan, however, believes its innovative approach to liquid biopsy tests surpasses current standards.

The technology focuses on scrutinising proteins in the blood, utilising tailored machine learning software to pinpoint cancer indicators among the multitude of biomarkers present in a blood test. According to Peter Liu, OXcan’s CEO, "Our approach has been able to detect lung cancer in about 600 samples, and really succinctly differentiate those with early-stage lung cancer, late-stage, as well as those without lung cancer. We're further using this method on other cancer and disease types.”

The potential impact of OXcan's solution extends beyond innovation—it holds the promise of making cancer screening earlier, more affordable, and accessible. With a total capital raise of $5.5 million, OXcan is poised to undertake its Series A funding later this year, marking a crucial step towards global expansion.

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