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Medical marvel: This female-founded startup uses 3D bioprinting to mimic tumour environment for cancer treatment, gets £4.2M funding

Carcinotech team
Picture credits: Carcinotech

Edinburgh-based biotech, Carcinotech has raised £4.2 million in its latest funding round. Eos Advisory (Eos) led the investment alongside Maven Capital Partners, Scottish Enterprise, Old College Capital, Investing Women, and existing investors TRICAPITAL, SIS Ventures, Gabriel Investment, and Alba Equity. 

The Maven investment is via the Investment Fund for Scotland, which Maven manages through Maven Equity Finance on behalf of the British Business Bank. This is the first equity deal from the £150 million Investment Fund for Scotland. Launched in October 2023, the Investment Fund for Scotland aims to boost the supply of early-stage finance to small and medium-sized businesses across the country. 

Carcinotech intends to use the investment to build its traction in the UK and Europe. Also, it plans for a US expansion later this year. 

Reinventing cancer research 

Founded by Ishani Malhotra in 2018, this Scottish startup uses its Carcino3D technology, which mimics cancer environments. This tech creates 3D bioprinted tumour models using cancer cell lines derived from patients. It provides a platform for rapid, ethical, and accurate drug screening, and pre-clinical and personalised medicine testing to support cancer treatment. 

Its cancer cell environment on a micro-size chip helps in testing personalised medicines and is a good representation of the cancer environment in the human body. Its device uses cancer stem cells to recreate the environment of any cancer type. 

Late last year, Carcinotech announced a partnership with Gothenburg-headquartered CELLINK. This partnership will leverage CELLINK’s bioprinting solutions and Carcinotech’s expertise in producing bioprinted living tumours to develop cutting-edge cell line cancer models. 

Ishani Malhotra, CEO and Founder of Carcinotech, 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 accelerate oncology drug development significantly.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said: “Carcinotech has huge potential to transform the way cancer treatments are tested and developed with its advanced 3D bioprinting technology. The investment marks a significant milestone for the Bank’sInvestment Fund for Scotland and so we are especially pleased to see it is supporting a female-founder leading the effort to deliver this cutting-edge medical technology as well as the company’s international expansion..”

David Milroy, Partner at Maven, said: “Carcinotech’s progress over the last 12 months has been impressive and the company is ideally placed to capitalise on the need for more predictive, non-animal models for testing of anti-cancer drugs and the huge opportunity for personalised medicine in cancer treatment. I am very much looking forward to working with Ishani and her team and to drawing on Maven’s vast experience of backing smaller businesses to help scale this important business.”

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.”

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