Carcinotech to Fund Mini-Tumors 3D Printing with $5.3M


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MedTech startup Carcinotech, which has developed a technology to create tiny, 3D tumor models using cells from patients for cancer treatment, raised a seed investment of £4.2 million ($5.3 million). With these funds, the Edinburgh, Scotland-based business says it is now set to expand its Carcino3D technology to the United States in 2024, promising to bring about a new era in personalized medicine and ethical drug screening.

The recent funding round was led by Eos Advisory and supported by a consortium of investors, the financial initiative Investment Fund for Scotland (IFS) managed by Maven Capital Partners, Scottish Enterprise, Old College Capital, Investing Women Angels, and existing investors Tricapital Angels Limited, SIS Ventures Gabriel Investment Syndicate, and Alba Equity is the second for the startup. In April 2022, Carcinotech raised a £1.6 million ($2 million) seed round. This new investment is particularly significant as it marks the first equity deal from the £150 million ($190 million) IFS through appointed fund managers Maven on behalf of British Business Bank. It also ensures that the company will expand into the U.S. market and continue nurturing partnerships at home and in Europe.

Carcinotech’s lab engineers using Carcino3D™ technology. Image courtesy of Carcinotech via LinkedIn.

Carcinotech is a company that works on making cancer treatment better and more personal. They use Carcino3D to create tiny, 3D models of tumors using cells taken from patient biopsies and blood samples. These mini-tumors help scientists test different cancer drugs to see which ones work best without using animals for testing. This means they can find effective treatments faster and make sure they’re tailored to each patient’s specific needs, improving their chances of getting better.

With an estimated 19.3 million cancer cases recorded in 2020 alone, the urgency for more effective treatments has never been more critical. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that there were nearly 10 million cancer deaths worldwide that same year, with the most common fatal cancers being breast (11.7%), lung (11.4%), colorectal (10%), and prostate (7.3%). Despite millions suffering from this disease, the options for effective therapy are still too few, and the effectiveness of available treatments varies greatly from one patient to another, stressing the need for personalized, more effective cancer treatments.

Like many companies at the intersection of MedTech and biosciences, Carcinotech is rising to meet this challenge head-on. Leveraging its Carcino3D technology, the company can simulate the human body’s complex tumor environment. Its models provide a more accurate and ethical alternative to traditional animal testing, and the final work is a step forward in searching for bespoke cancer therapies that match each patient’s unique genetics, potentially transforming the landscape of cancer care and offering new hope to millions worldwide.

Ishani Malhotra, CEO and Founder of Carcinotech, says, “Our vision is to be at the forefront of cancer drug testing and provide personalized medicine testing to every individual suffering from cancer to improve their treatment and chances of survival. Working with global partners, leading pharma companies, surgeons, pathologists, and clinicians, Carcinotech aims to significantly accelerate oncology drug development.”

Carcinotech founder Ishani Malhotra. Image courtesy of Carcinotech via LinkedIn.

The company claims its Carcino3D models offer a platform for in vitro high-throughput, accurate, and rapid drug discovery and screening for novel, combinatorial, and repurposed drugs. The models can be used for drug efficacy, drug pathways, and toxicity testing and are bioengineered to “de-risk cancer drug testing and pre-clinical trials offering translational data for cancer heterogeneity and microenvironments.”

This means that the 3D mini-tumors made by Carcinotech are used to test if cancer drugs work well, how they work, and if they are safe without causing harmful side effects. These models are specially made to make cancer drug testing and the early stages of drug development safer by reducing the risks involved. They provide valuable information that helps scientists understand how diverse and complex cancer can be from one person to another and how it behaves in different environments within the body. This helps in making the development of cancer treatments more accurate and effective.

Access to Carcinotech’s robotic and automated manufacturing allows accelerated production, with models offering high-throughput capabilities. The technology’s application spans six cancer types, including lung, brain, breast, ovarian, colorectal, and custom solid tumors.

As the company prepares to introduce its Carcino3D technology to the U.S., the potential for creating more effective, personalized cancer treatments is immense. Carcinotech’s innovations, particularly in providing tools for customized medicine, offer a glimpse into a future where treatments can be tailored to each patient’s unique condition. This technology is beginning to show its value in settings where surgeons and oncologists can explore treatment options and drug responses more closely tailored to individual patient needs. That said, Carcinotech’s technology is still in the research and pre-clinical stages. The journey from laboratory research to clinical use involves careful testing, approval from health authorities, and proving that treatments are safe and effective. Carcinotech is on a path to make a significant difference in the fight against cancer, but it will take some time before its innovations can directly benefit patients.

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