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Med tech startup Carcinotech raises £4.2m

The Carcinotech team with founder Ishani Malhotra, centre.
29 Jan 2024

Medical technology startup Carcinotech has raised £4.2 million of funding as the company looks to build on its traction in the UK and Europe, with US expansion planned later this year.

Carcinotech’s Carcino3D technology enables the manufacture of 3D printed micro-tumours using patient-derived biopsies, primary cells, immune cells, and cancer stem cells, accelerating ethical drug screening and the delivery of more effective cancer treatments to market.

CEO Ishani Malhotra, who founded Carcinotech with support from Edinburgh Innovations, after graduating from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine, said:

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

In October, Carcinotech announced a partnership with Gothenburg-headquartered CELLINK, leveraging CELLINK’s bioprinting solutions and Carcinotech’s expertise in producing bioprinted living tumours to develop cutting-edge cell line cancer models.

Ishani Malhotra added:

As part of ongoing commercialisation, we have built strong industry partnerships in Europe, and are now actively engaged in replicating these in North America.”

Eos Advisory led follow-on investment alongside the University’s in-house venture investment fund, Old College Capital, Scottish Enterprise, Investing Women, TRICAPITAL, SIS Ventures, Gabriel Investment, and Alba Equity. New investment was also received from Maven Capital Partners.

OCC invested from its OCC Ventures initiative, following previous support at the pre-seed stage. Carcinotech was one of the first companies to be backed by Old College Capital (OCC)’s pre-seed initiative, now called OCC Launch 20, in 2021. The OCC Launch initiatives help founders explore, experiment and build traction and investing at the earliest stages can act as a catalyst, building confidence for our entrepreneurs and investment partners.

The company also took part in Edinburgh Innovations’ Startup Accelerator and partnership AI Accelerator programmes.

Head of OCC, Andrea Young, said:

OCC is proud to continue investing in Carcinotech, an ambitious company delivering a step-change in how we develop and use cancer therapeutics. Ishani and her team have delivered impressive growth over the past 12 months, and we are excited to work with them as they build on this momentum.”

Anne Muir, Director of Portfolio at St Andrews-based investment firm Eos, said:

Ishani and her team are breaking new ground in oncology, they combine a deep knowledge of the field with technology-driven systems that are set to bring about greater efficiencies in cancer research workflows. At Eos, we back innovative companies that positively impact the world and we are excited to continue our support as Carcinotech builds on its commercial traction and enters its next phase of growth from a base in Scotland.”

Globally, an estimated 19.3 million cancer cases occurred in 2020 alone, with a fatality rate of almost 10 million cancer deaths, with breast (11.7%), lung (11.4%), colorectal (10%) and prostate (7.3%) being the most fatal. While cancer continues to affect millions, there are still a limited number of effective therapies available, and those that are available have a high degree of variation from patient to patient. Carcinotech offers more predictive, non-animal models for testing of anti-cancer drugs and an opportunity for personalised medicine in cancer treatment.