Northstar Ventures’ Portfolio Company AMLo Biosciences receives funding grant to further develop melanoma diagnostic technology AMBLor® for an expanded indication into pigmented lesions
A recent grant of £304,000 from Innovate UK Investor Partnership Round 11 has been awarded to AMLo Biosciences for a validation study of their AMBLor® prognostic biomarker technology in indeterminant melanocytic skin lesions. AMBLor® is already available as a test that can detect early-stage melanomas at low risk of progression and this study could add an additional indication beyond melanoma. The incidence of pigmented skin lesions is over 1 million cases per year globally. This funding demonstrates the continued recognition of AMLo Biosciences and their role in supporting the healthcare challenges of an ageing population and stretched resources.
AMLo Biosciences’ innovative immunohistochemical test for early-stage melanoma (AMBLor®) can accurately identify patients who are at low-risk of disease progression. This test is already offered in the USA and UK. Pilot data suggest that AMBLor® could be used diagnostically in indeterminant melanocytic lesions, to identify those which are genuinely benign, avoiding unnecessary interventions for the elderly who may be less able to attend hospital due to frailty, reduced mobility, comorbidities, and/or financial constraints.
Innovate UK have recognised the potential of AMBLor® with a recent funding award of £304,000 for a validation study investigating the use of the technology for accurate identification of benign indeterminant melanocytic skin lesions. Innovate UK is part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body of the UK government that directs research and innovation funding. The Investor Partnership funding scheme brings together Innovate UK ‘s use of grant funding and the aligned funding and expertise from investor partner Northstar Ventures. The ambitious 16-month study, which commenced on 1 September 2023, will investigate the diagnostic utility of AMBLor® in a range of indeterminant melanocytic lesions, Spitz tumours, and the very earliest stages of melanoma, with preliminary results expected in December 2024.
Expanding the use of AMBLor® for indeterminant melanocytic lesions supports government ambitions. In the UK, one of the government’s aims is to support people to age well, despite the many challenges this brings. The Ageing Better government agenda is addressing the urgent need in the ageing population for better cancer diagnosis tools, reducing unnecessary interventions and reducing anxiety associated with diagnosis.
Dr Marie Labus, CEO of AMLo Biosciences, said: ‘There is widespread recognition that transformational change is needed across healthcare to meet the needs of an ageing population. We feel that our AMBLor® technology can have a big impact on improving accuracy in the diagnosis of skin malignancies, reducing misdiagnosis, reducing unnecessary hospital visits and freeing up resources. We are delighted to receive this funding to continue our research into additional indications for AMBLor, as we aim to provide a more streamlined and personalised approach to disease management.’
Alex Buchan, Investment Director of Northstar Ventures, said: ‘We are delighted the company has been awarded this grant which will be a tremendous support for the study to demonstrate the effectiveness of AMBLor® in diagnostics expected to lead to much better outcomes for both patients and the NHS. This is a great example of how grant funding and investment can work together to build great companies.’
About Northstar Ventures
Northstar Ventures is a venture capital and social investment firm based in the North East. We provide funding for innovative, scalable businesses and high impact social enterprises. We’ve been supporting entrepreneurs since 2004, seeking out strong teams with great ideas that will drive high growth, scalable businesses, and sustainable charities. As the North East’s leading early stage investor, we have invested over £100m into start-ups, early stage businesses and high impact social enterprises. Our investment managers have a wealth of experience supporting new and growing businesses and bring commercial and operational experience, PhDs and MBAs, international careers and even a micro-business or two.
For more information contact Hekla Goodman,
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