Linking up to save lives
Biovica International of Uppsala, Sweden, has developed a unique technology to monitor cell division in leukaemia patients – helping doctors determine a tumour’s aggression, spread and growth.
“Detecting cell division in patients at an earlier stage should enable doctors to treat patients more effectively,” explains Biovica CEO Simon Gronowitz.
In its quest for a research partner active in drug discovery, Biovica enlisted the help of Enterprise Europe Network expert Jakob Sjövall, based in the Europa Institutet in Västerås, Sweden. The Network helps SMEs tap into EU research funding. Its 3 000 experts in more than 50 countries are close to research communities and use their expertise to link up potential project partners.
Biovica’s request caught the eye of Andrew Goldsbrough, technology adviser at Enterprise Europe Network East of England, who flagged it to Cambridge-based SME Sentinel Oncology through a tailored electronic alert system.
The companies agreed to cooperate, and received more than €500,000 in funding from the EU’s Eurostars programme. Over the next few years, Sentinel will design a molecule to treat leukaemia and Biovica will use its breakthrough cell-division test – which it hopes will become a standard procedure in cancer diagnosis and follow-up – to measure its effectiveness.
“If all goes well, the treatment should have a pretty clear path to the market,” says Stuart Travers, Sentinel’s chief operating officer.