RUBYnanomed was chosen by the Royal Society of Chemistry (United Kingdom) to be one of the two awardees with a £10.000 prize for the Emerging Technologies competition under the category of Health.
The startup, a spin-off company from INL founded by INL researchers from the Life Sciences Department, was selected among the 10 finalists to deliver a pitch in London within the “Chemistry Means Business” event.
The decision was taken by a panel of judges from pharma, diagnostics, consulting and tech transfer companies from the UK. This award is an important step in establishing credibility for the product developed by RUBYnanomed, which consists of a non-invasive diagnostic tool to provide real-time information about cancer progression. The technology is based on a microfluidic device that isolates all types of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from unprocessed whole blood.
An accurate cancer diagnosis is crucial to stratify patients and provide personalised therapy, the key to provide better outcomes for patients and to contribute to a cost-effective healthcare system. The technology also showed potential for early diagnosis, which is one of the most relevant success factors of oncology therapies. Having this principle in mind, the results achieved by INL researchers allow to conclude that this new method of liquid biopsy leads to the timely isolation, detection, and analysis of tumour-derived material in a minimally invasive way, and is also an exciting and unique opportunity in oncology to investigate tumour dynamics and heterogeneity with time, allowing a premature detection and personalised therapeutic action.
The technology developed at INL has been exclusively licensed to RUBYnanomed that works towards commercializing the technology in the clinic.
At the ceremony Lorena Diéguez, INL Research Group Leader and RUBYnanomed Chief Scientific Officer, said that the team was “very happy and proud to receive this award and truly grateful for the recognition. It comes at a great time for us as we are currently looking for investors and this gives us encouragement that our innovation has the potential to do great things”
Aurora Antemir, Head of Industry at the Royal Society of Chemistry said that “Chemistry Means Business initiative pairs the next generation of chemistry innovators with the blue-chip companies that can take their ideas forward. Both the winners and finalists this year have undoubtedly been amongst the most innovative we’ve seen yet. We’re looking forward to seeing how these incredible new ideas and innovations will deliver really exciting real-world benefits”.
Now in its seventh year, this competition promoted by the RSC brings cutting-edge science to the real world for the benefit of society. Previous winners have gone on to raise a combined total of over £32m in equity investment and grant funding, with one company subsequently being sold for £28m. Winners have also expanded overseas, entered commercial contracts, conducted clinical and industrial-scale trials, and collectively doubled their staff.