Ovarian cancer test company closes £1.4m funding round

Belfast-based GenoME Diagnostics has developed a blood test for early detection

A Belfast-based medical diagnostics business has closed a £1.4 million (€1.57 million) funding round that it says will help it to further develop its novel blood test for early detection of ovarian cancer.

GenoME Diagnostics, which was spun out of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in 2020, is currently in the testing phase of its OvaMe product, for which it will plans to seek European regulatory approval.

The company said the funding round – which was supported by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of QUB; Co-Fund NI, managed by Clarendon Fund Managers; and UK-based Deepbridge Capital – will also help GenoME to expand its regulatory approach in the UK and the United States.

GenoME said the round also includes an additional £500,000 UK government grant for a project in collaboration with QUB, which will be used to continue the development of a novel blood test for earlier detection of other cancer types.


Dr Shannon Beattie, the company’s chief executive, said the funding round was a “significant” milestone for GenoME, which raised £300,000 in a pre-seed round in 2021.

“Currently, a large proportion of ovarian cancer cases are caught at the later stages of the disease, so patients unfortunately have a very poor survival rate,” she said. “Cancers detected at an earlier stage provide much more opportunity for intervention and improve patient survival.”

“Milestones like these will be pivotal in opening conversations with public-health bodies and allowing the team to progress our tests further to market. Our ultimate long-term ambition is to eventually enter public screening programmes; however, our first market is disease monitoring and diagnosis.”

Chris Mosedale, GenoME’s chief business officer, said the funding would help develop the company’s pipeline, which can be “applied to a wide range” of other diseases.

“There is very strong evidence that our technology could be used to diagnose other cancers and illnesses,” he said. “This funding round will enable us to research and test this assumption further, improving the chances for more cancer patients.”

In conjunction with Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency, Invest NI, Co-Fund NI is an equity fund that provides co-investment funding in deals typically between £150,000 (€168,400) and £2 million.

Stuart Gaffikin, investment manager at Clarendon, which manages the fund, said: “Co-Fund NI is really pleased to be supporting this investment into GenoME to help its team with the development of a potentially life-changing technology. We hope this investment will help the company reach the next phase of development as it seeks to improve the diagnosis process for cancer patients.”

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times