A SCOTTISH medical technology company has announced £2.1 million additional seed financing – in an oversubscribed funding round – to complete its first human trials.

Based on research from Edinburgh University professors Tim Aitman and Mark Bradley, Biocaptiva have developed BioCaptis, a device slated to “transform liquid biopsy testing”, which is a type of blood test commonly used in the diagnosis and management of cancer.

The financing was led by existing investor Archangels, a business angel syndicate committed to successfully investing in early-stage Scottish life sciences and technology companies.

It was joined by Scottish Enterprise and Cancer Research Horizon, the new innovation engine of Cancer Research UK, as well as new investor Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund.

BioCaptis can capture up to 100 times as much cell-free DNA as a conventional blood draw, increasing the quality and quantity available for testing.

This could therefore increase the types and stages of cancers amenable to diagnosis by liquid biopsy testing so that more patients could benefit.

Jeremy Wheeler, chief executive of Biocaptiva, said “Biocaptiva is at the forefront of developing technology to transform liquid biopsy testing in cancer management. We are pleased to have raised these additional funds as the company enters its next stage of development, with the BioCaptis beginning its first in-human trials.

“These trials will allow us to generate important data before the end of 2022. This will be a key step before starting regulatory trials in 2023 as we move towards our goal of unleashing the full potential of liquid biopsy in cancer management to improve patient outcomes.”

Sarah Hardy, director and head of new investments at Archangels, added: “In 2021, Archangels supported the spin-out of Biocaptiva from the University of Edinburgh based on the technology developed from Professor Tim Aitman and Professor Mark Bradley’s research. Since then, the company has made remarkable progress and is poised to begin in-human trials with BioCaptis just over a year after its formation.

“We are pleased to support the company in generating its first in-human data, and towards its ambition of ensuring that BioCaptis can play a key role in realising the full potential of liquid biopsy testing for cancer management.”

Kerry Sharp, director of entrepreneurship and investment at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Biocaptiva is an innovative and exciting company with strong growth prospects. Its BioCaptis device has the potential to really transform the way cancer is diagnosed, monitored and managed.

“We look forward to seeing how its first in-human trials progress, followed by regulatory trials, so that one day soon this exciting new technology can be put to work for the benefit of patients.”