A pioneering surgically-implanted Electric Field Therapy (EFT) device to treat brain tumours has been backed by further funding as it moves closer to reality.
The GRACE implant is currently in pre-clinical development, and the first-of-its-kind technology aims to target dividing cancer cells within the brain, without affecting healthy cells.
The device, created by QV Bioelectronics, is set to revolutionise treatment of glioblastoma (GBM), which has some of the worst outcomes of any cancer.
Now, to help in its work to bring the GRACE to reality, QV has secured £860,000 through the Combined Investor Partnerships Award from Innovate UK, following its successful £2m Pre-Series A fundraising round which completed in January.
Implantable bioelectronics is at the forefront of emerging healthcare technology, combining the use of cutting-edge materials and interdisciplinary science.
The latest funding will add further support to QV’s efforts to translate this into cancer care, and will be used to conduct critical activities prior to its first in-human clinical trials.
This project focuses on several key areas on development, including surgical innovation, with engagement with clinical key opinion leaders in developing vital elements of the GRACE implantation procedure.
They also include establishing manufacturing and distribution of key technologies, ensuring regulatory compliance, and accelerating commercial development in the UK and other key markets.
Dr Christopher Bullock, CEO of QV Bioelectronics, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Investor Partnerships Award. This award, alongside out latest funding round, will be instrumental in accelerating the development of GRACE.
“This technology has the potential to revolutionise cancer treatment, and we are thrilled to have Innovate UK’s backing as we work towards making a real difference in the lives of those affected by this devastating disease.”
QV Bioelectronics is led and co-founded by biomedical engineer Dr Bullock and Dr Richard Fu, a specialty registrar in neurosurgery and brain cancer researcher in the NHS.
GRACE combines the use of the nascent area of advanced materials, precision oncology and surgical innovation, and is set to be implanted in patients already undergoing surgery to maximise patient safety and cost-effectiveness.
QV has been working with some of the UK’s leading neurosurgeons to ensure GRACE meets the needs of clinicians and fits seamlessly into existing patient treatment pathways. QV’s goal is that its device will one day help to enhance the standard of care that patients receive.
The award from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, takes the total amount of grant funding awarded to QV to £1.8m, which includes an ongoing Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Award and previous support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Innovate UK SMART.
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