OncoMark raises €2.1m to commercialise diagnostic test for breast cancer

Pictured: Dawn Walsh, Kernel Capital; Des O’Leary, OncoMark; Prof William Gallagher, UCD Conway Institute and OncoMark; Deirdre Glenn, Enterprise Ireland; and Kevin Healy, Bank of Ireland

15 February 2017

OncoMark, a UCD spin-out company, has secured €2.1 million in funding from Kernel Capital, through the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Venture Funds, the Irrus Investments syndicate, the Galway HBAN MedTech syndicate, private investors and Enterprise Ireland.

OncoMark develops novel panels of cancer biomarkers, to aid treatment decisions and allow more tailored patient management, ultimately improving the quality of life for cancer patients.

This investment round will fund the commercialisation of the company’s lead product, OncoMasTR – a prognostic test for early-stage breast cancer that will reduce the number of breast cancer patients receiving unnecessary chemotherapy.

OncoMark was previously awarded €2.7 million, through the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2, to clinically validate the OncoMasTR test. This new funding will allow the translation of the test from clinical validation to regulatory approval and full commercialisation.

OncoMark, which was co-founded by Prof William Gallagher and Steve Penney as a spin-out from UCD’s School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, is headquartered at NovaUCD.

Des O’Leary, CEO, OncoMark, said: “In the absence of accurate tests, the majority of early-stage breast cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy despite many not benefiting from the treatment. This exposes individuals to severe side effects and results in significant costs to healthcare systems worldwide. Approximately 70% of patients do not require chemotherapy after initial surgery, but it has been difficult to identify these individuals. The OncoMasTR test is designed to enable a more personalised approach to patient care, helping clinicians to determine which patients should not receive chemotherapy, ultimately improving their quality of life.”

Orla Rimmington, partner, Kernel Capital, said: “OncoMark aims to prevent early stage breast cancer patients’ exposure to ineffective treatment and needless toxicity. Kernel Capital are delighted to have led this investment in OncoMark, with its genomic assessment test, based on pioneering research led by Prof William Gallagher.”

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