15 June 2017
Cytox raises £2.6m led by Catapult Ventures to launch predictive test for Alzheimer’s Disease
Alderley Park, UK – 14 June 2017. Cytox, a leader in genetic testing for Alzheimer’s Disease, today announced that it has raised £2.6m to fund the commercial launch and international roll out of its novel service. The funding round was led by the GM&C Life Sciences Fund, managed by Catapult Ventures, alongside existing and new investors, including Perivoli Innovations, The Rainbow Seed Fund, The University of Oxford and private investors.
Dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease has become the silent epidemic of the 21st century, with over 46 million people currently living with dementia. These numbers are expected to double by 2030 and treble by 2050. Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease and leading academics, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are spending millions to develop novel therapeutics based on improved understanding of the disease biology.
Cytox has developed a genetic prognostic test to predict to a very high degree of accuracy the risk of someone developing Alzheimer’s Disease many years before the first signs. The tests are based on the world-leading academic work of Dr Zuszanna Nagy at the University of Birmingham and formerly at University of Oxford and Professor John Hardy at University College London.
The investment will enable the company to launch this genetic testing platform and services to those pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developing the next generation of dementia drugs. Cytox has developed their variaTECT genotyping array and SNPfitR software in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific. The investment will also be used to validate and launch a version of their Alzheimer’s Disease test as a service to US regulatory standards (the CLIA regulations) and to expand the technology to include differential diagnosis and prognosis of dementia.
In addition to the investment, Dr David Whitcombe, a Venture Partner with Catapult Ventures, will join the board of Cytox as a non-executive director. David co-founded DxS Diagnostics in 2000 to exploit technology he developed at AstraZeneca, and sold the company to QIAGEN in 2009 for more than £100m.
Dr Richard Pither, CEO Cytox, said “I’m extremely pleased to welcome Catapult Ventures as a new investor in Cytox and David to the board. David’s expertise in genetics, diagnostics and developing strong commercial partnerships will be extremely valuable to Cytox as we seek to commercialize our tests for Alzheimer’s Disease and grow Cytox as a leader in this area.”
Dr David Whitcombe, Venture Partner with Catapult Ventures, said “Cytox is a very exciting company with a compelling offering in the assessment of individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Their genetic tests have demonstrated compelling results on the accuracy of prediction of developing the disease. I look forward to working with Richard and the team to fulfill the potential of their prognostic tests to better understand the disease and play a role in developing much needed therapeutics.”
Photo L-R: , David Whitcombe (Catapult Ventures), Richard Pither (Cytox)