UCD Start-Up Secures Horizon 2020 SME Business Feasibility Funding
Atturos, a UCD spin-out company founded by Professor Stephen Pennington has been selected for funding in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument in Phase 1. It is one of only four Irish small and medium-sized enterprises to receive funding of €50,000 each to finance a feasibility study for new products that can disrupt the market place. The SME’s can also seek up to three days of business coaching and after that may be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5 million.
Atturos seeks to develop an innovative blood test (OCProDx) to detect if cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland using a signature of several protein biomarkers. The project entitled strategic planning for commercialisation of a multiplexed protein diagnostic (Dx) blood test for Organ-Confined Prostate cancer – OCProDx builds on UCD Medicine research in prostate cancer and seeks to address a major men’s health issue.
Professor Stephen Pennington, UCD Professor of Proteomics and founder of Atturos said,
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in Europe with over 400,000 men diagnosed every year. In Ireland alone, over 3,300 men are diagnosed with the condition every year. However, most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not actually die from the disease.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which has been available for a number of years, can already detect the presence of prostate cancer. However, it does not show if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. This innovative blood test that we have developed - the OCProDx test - will be able to do this and will therefore support the life changing decisions men have to make once diagnosed with prostate cancer. We hope, with this funding, that the test will be close to the market early in 2017. We are delighted that our project has been selected for funding under the EU's Horizon 2020 SME Instrument – it is a very competitive process - and it comes just as we begin Movember 2015!
This funding announcement brings to 38 the total number of Irish SMEs funded so far under the SME Instrument (29 Phase 1 receiving €50,000 each and nine Phase 2 receiving up to €2.5 million each).
For more information on Atturos please see the company's website.