Jason Hobbs, CEO North East Fund.
Tegan Chapman

Sunderland firm secures £1.8m to take bladder cancer diagnosis kits global

A Sunderland company has become the North East Fund’s 100th investment after securing £1.8m to help take a revolutionary new bladder cancer diagnostics kit to the global marketplace.

The investment will support Arquer Diagnostics in concluding its international clinical trial and commercialising its test ADXBLADDER kit worldwide.

Developed and perfected exclusively at its Sunderland HQ, Arquer’s immunoassay test is based on the detection of minichromosome maintenance proteins (MCM5) in the urine as an indication of the presence of bladder cancer.

The North East Innovation Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, provided £400,000 of the £1.8m raised by Arquer, taking the North East Fund’s total investments so far to £17m.

Jason Hobbs, CEO of the North East Fund, said: “Arquer Diagnostics is a highly innovative organisation that is flying the flag for the region and the UK in a very competitive global marketplace.

“They are developing a potentially life-saving portfolio of products at the forefront of medical science, and the investment secured from the Innovation Fund will allow them to take their bladder test to the commercial market whilst developing other exciting new products.

“Reaching our 100th investment is a fantastic achievement and we will continue to support the region’s many SMEs to achieve their full potential and encourage business growth. We are delighted to be part of Arquer Diagnostics’ ongoing development and continued success.”

Investment manager of Northstar Ventures, Alex Buchan, added: “I have been part of the Arquer Diagnostic Board for a few years and watched the development of the bladder test very closely.

“I am convinced that the adoption of ADXBLADDER in clinical routine will help urologists deliver more accurate diagnosies which ultimately will result in more lives being saved. I look forward to the next indications which they are working on that promise equally clinically-relevant outcomes.”

The North East Fund, launched one year ago, is a five-year £120m investment programme which supports regional SMEs in achieving business growth. Since inception it has invested more than £17m in SMEs located in Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, County Durham and Sunderland.

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