LONDON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Cytox Limited, a UK-based neuroscience company that provides blood biomarker services to the pharmaceutical industry for Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials, has announced completion of a pre-Series A funding round of GBP 600,000 (US$ 1 million).
Proceeds will be used to advance commercialization of the company's testing services for AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Cytox's biomarkers help confirm the AD diagnosis, predict which patients with MCI will convert to AD and provide information about individuals' likely responses to drug therapy.
Cytox's services enable companies to conduct more effective clinical trials with patients at the earliest stages of this devastating disease, offering the greatest hope of prevention and cure. The company's tests require only a single blood draw from the patient, which is significantly less invasive than tests requiring cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and quicker and cheaper than repeated imaging techniques (MRI).
Cytox's blood biomarkers have been validated for use in FDA trials in a recent clinical study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA) and supported by an Exceptional Grant for Research & Development from Advantage West Midlands. Future clinical trials are in planning to support FDA approval of the blood tests as a diagnostic test of dementia risk.
Management and existing UK investors were joined in the round by MASA Life Sciences LP, the first US institutional investor, and US angels, including Dr. Jim Foght, who joins the company as an advisor.
Commenting on the continued support from Midven Limited, the lead investor in Cytox through its investment from the Advantage Growth Fund, Roger Wood, Director of Midven, observed, "We are pleased to re-invest in Cytox. These are exciting times for the Company, which is now well placed to benefit significantly from its research efforts through the commercial launch of its clinical biomarker services."
Richard Hadden, CEO of Cytox, added, "I am delighted at the continued support we have enjoyed from existing investors and management and I welcome our new investors, who bring valuable pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry relationships in Asia and the USA."
A. Sinclair Dunlop, Founder and Managing Partner of MASA Life Science Ventures, LP, noted, "We are pleased to become the first US institutional investor in Cytox. The company's products and services for Alzheimer's address a great unmet need and offer a compelling investment opportunity, even in a difficult climate for biotech."
Richard Hanson, Grant for Research and Development Policy Manager at Advantage West Midlands, said "We are very pleased to have supported Cytox at an early stage of its development and welcome the confidence in its products and services which this significant new private sector investment demonstrates."
About Cytox Limited
Cytox is a UK company developing products and services for neurodegenerative disorders. The company provides biomarker services to pharmaceutical industry clients conducting clinical trials with drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Cytox's blood tests enable the prediction of which patients with MCI will develop AD. The biomarkers are based on the cell cycle hypothesis of AD and were invented by Dr. Zsuzsanna Nagy at the University of Oxford and the University of Birmingham. For more information about Cytox, please visit the web site at http://www.cytoxgroup.com/.
About Midven Limited
Midven is a privately-owned company with a successful track record of investing in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Midlands. It manages a variety of funds and has invested in a wide variety of sectors, including software, biotechnology, healthcare, engineering, manufacturing and distribution. The GBP 20 million Advantage Growth Fund was launched in February 2003 by Advantage West Midlands to invest venture capital in small and medium-sized companies in the West Midlands. Managed by Midven Limited, its investors include Barclays Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, the European Investment Fund, local universities and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
About MASA Life Science Ventures, LP
MASA Life Science Ventures (MLSV) is a venture capital fund focused on high-growth biotechnology and life science companies. MLSV's investors include several of Japan and Korea's leading corporations and financial institutions, which help provide an important bridge to key markets in East Asia. The Fund's primary areas of interest include biotherapeutics, specialty pharma, medical devices, and healthcare and bio IT. MLSV's investment professionals have broad and deep experience in the biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare industries, worldwide, with a particular focus on Asia.
About Jim Foght, PhD
Dr. Foght has over 45 years of experience in the international life science industry including research and development, general management, international management, investment banking and venture capital. He was a co-founder of DuPont Pharmaceuticals and President of Vector Securities International, an investment banking firm specializing in the biotechnology industry. Jim currently serves as Chairman of Illinois Ventures and sits on the board of Illinois Emerging Technology Funds. He also is a board member of several biotechnology/life science companies.
About Grant for Research and Development
Grant for Research and Development is one of the Government's "Solutions for Business" products. It provides grants of up to GBP 250,000 (exceptionally GBP 500,000) to small and medium sized enterprises to support them in carrying out research or development work which will lead to the introduction of technologically innovative products or processes. It is administered in the West Midlands by Advantage West Midlands on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Details can be found at http://www.advantagewm.co.uk/working-with-us/grants-for-research-and-development.aspx.
Contact: Richard Hadden, CEO: tel: +44 20 7250 4210; email: firstname.lastname@example.org