QV Bioelectronics, a Cheshire, UK-based medical device startup, has received £2 million in pre-series A funds.
QV is undertaking pre-clinical studies on an electric field therapy (EFT) implant, a kind of medical device that holds promise in treating brain tumours and other cancers. EFT could allow brain surgeons to rapidly disrupt cancer cell growth to slow the proliferation of tumours. It works by applying electrical fields in the brain at specific frequencies.
Studies have shown certain brain cancers have some of the worst survival rates in cancer treatment. Though successful outcomes are becoming more common, glioblastoma in particular is aggressive and continues to evade most brain procedures.
The medical implant by QV, dubbed GRACE, would incrementally divide cancer cells in the brain. Crucially, QV expects the device to operate without causing harm to healthy brain cells.
QV proposes to tackle glioblastoma first and will use the funding to expand its pre-clinical research, while also working toward finalisation of an initial design for its product.
Proceeds will also go to QV's commercial strategy and regulatory pipeline as it prepares the EFT for clinical-grade testing.
Patients would receive a GRACE implant while undergoing mainstream surgical treatment for glioblastoma. The company says this is preferred to "maximise patient safety and cost-effectiveness."
QV Bioelectronics' founding team includes specialty neurosurgery registrar Dr Richard Fu, who also undertakes brain cancer research for the UK National Health Service, and its CEO Dr. Christopher Bullock.
The pre-series A round was co-led by Science Angel Syndicate and Fink Family Office, with participation from two of QV's existing investors, SOSV and Catapult Ventures. Also participating were Northern Gritstone and Elbow Beach Capital.
Commenting on behalf of Fink Family Office, Lord Stanley Fink said "I am thrilled to be investing in QV bio's latest round.
"Having suffered from a brain tumour over a decade ago, this is a cause extremely close to my heart. There has been limited progress in brain cancer survival rates over the past decade when compared to the advances in other cancers and I hope QV bio will help bridge this gap.”
"It is our aspiration that GRACE will optimise the treatment effects of electric field therapy, whilst working synergistically alongside other existing and emerging cancer treatments.
"We are grateful for the belief and support from our new and existing investors and look forwards to working with them and our other partners as we take the next significant steps toward fulfilling this goal."
pre-clinical development on an electric field therapy (EFT) implant,