OncoMark Awarded €2.7 million in Horizon 2020 Funding and Plans to Create 10 New Jobs

OncoMark, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company, has been selected for €2.7 million in funding over 2-years, through the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2, to commercially develop a new diagnostic test for breast cancer patients.

OncoMark, headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, focuses on the development of novel panels of cancer biomarkers to aid treatment decisions and allow more tailored patient management, ultimately improving the quality of life for cancer patients.

The award will fund the development and commercialisation of OncoMasTR, a novel prognostic assay to help clinicians decide whether or not a patient with early-stage breast cancer will benefit from a rigorous course of chemotherapy and reduce the number of patients receiving unnecessary chemotherapy.

The company, which currently employs 10 individuals, also plans to double its staff numbers over the next two years.

OncoMark Group New 2015 2
Pictured at NovaUCD are Dr Máirín Rafferty (COO), Prof. William Gallagher (co-founder and CSO) and Desmond O'Leary (CEO), OncoMark

Des O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer, OncoMark said, "Currently, the majority of early-stage breast cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy, despite many not benefiting from such treatment, thereby exposing individuals to severe side effects. Approximately 30% of patients develop a recurrence of the disease within 10 years after initial surgery and, therefore, require aggressive chemotherapy, but it has been difficult to identify these individuals." 

He added, "We are delighted to announce this award, which will enable us to accelerate the OncoMasTR test from the laboratory to the clinic, as well as creating employment opportunities and promoting the worldwide recognition of Ireland's capabilities in the clinical diagnostics field." 

The OncoMasTR test, which is based on the measurement of biomarkers present in individual patients, will enable a personalised approach to the treatment of patients, ultimately improving their quality of life. 

OncoMark was co-founded by Professor William Gallagher and Steve Penney as a spin-out from the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.


9 September 2015

For more information contact Micéal Whelan, University College Dublin, Communications Manager (Innovation), e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or Des O’Leary, CEO, OncoMark, e: des.oleary@oncomark.com.  

Editor’s Notes

OncoMark Ltd is a diagnostics company focused on the development of novel panels of cancer biomarkers, to aid treatment decisions and allow more tailored patient management, ultimately improving the quality of life for cancer patients. www.oncomark.com

The SME Instrument has been designed specifically for single or groups of highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market. The instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support from the stage of business idea conception and planning (phase I) over business plan execution and demonstration (phase II) to commercialisation (phase III). Participants will be able to call on business innovation coaching for the duration of their project.  http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/funding/sme_participation.html

At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies as part of UCD’s mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for client companies such as OncoMark. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. www.ucd.ie/nova