Newcastle-based rare cancer research start-up secures six figure investment

19 March 2021

Newcastle-based Rarecan secures £200,000 funding thanks to Innovation SuperNetwork

Newcastle-based company leading the way in rare cancer research, Rarecan, has closed a £200,000 funding round after securing investment through the Newcastle Angel Hub and NorthInvest.

RareCan completed the round with £45,000 invested by Mandashi Limited following a joint Newcastle Angel Hub and NorthInvest pitch event. Mandashi Limited focus its investments in innovation that makes a positive difference to the world.  

Championing the view that people with rarer forms of cancer should have the same opportunities in treatments and research as those with more common forms, RareCan brings patients together, helping them make their data available to researchers to fast-track the effective development of treatments and diagnostics.

The funds raised in this initial seed round will be used to recruit a cohort of patients, further develop data capabilities, and grow the company’s operational and marketing capacity. 

Speaking about the investment Piers Kotting, CEO at RareCan said, “This is a really exciting investment for us. The money will allow us to develop our platform and recruit more patients dealing with a wide variety of rare cancers. The more we learn about these rare forms, the faster the research community can develop effective treatments and diagnostic capabilities. What we do is connect the two and speed up this process.”

RareCan has since been awarded an additional £2000 grant by the Innovation SuperNetwork, which delivers the Newcastle Angel Hub, specifically to support an enhancement to their online presence and platform.

Cancers with an incidence of less than 60 per million are defined as ‘rare’. They represent about 25% of all cases of cancer presenting in the UK and includes over 180 different tumour types. Overall, these rarer cancers have a significantly worse five-year survival rate compared to more common cancers (47% v 65%), and over half of all cancer deaths result from rarer forms of cancer.

Piers added; “At RareCan we give patients the opportunity to volunteer to take part in research, which will continue to make a difference into the future.”

Jordan Dargue, Access to Finance Manager at the Innovation SuperNetwork and Investment and Programme Director at NorthInvest, said: “This is a really exciting project that I’m delighted we’ve been able to support by helping RareCan secure Angel investment through our programme of joint pitch events. The North East has a growing reputation for driving innovation in healthcare, and RareCan’s focus on supporting research into rare cancers will no doubt enable further innovation in the field in future.”

NorthInvest and the Newcastle Angel Hub bring investors together and connect them with businesses at all stages of growth seeking investment. The Newcastle Angel Hub is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with Invest Newcastle.

Innovation SuperNetwork Grants support innovative businesses to develop and bring innovative products to market. Alongside the Newcastle Angel Hub, they are delivered as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project, funded by ERDF.

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