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North East cancer research start-up secures £200,000 investment

A North East company researching rarer forms of cancer 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 Ltd, a company which channels its investments in innovation that makes a positive difference to the world.

Championing the view that people with rare cancers should have the same opportunities for treatment and research as those with common forms, RareCan brings patients together to make their data available to researchers.

It hopes that this work will fast-track the development of more effective treatments and diagnostics.

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

Piers Kotting, CEO of 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.”

Cancers with an incidence of less than 60 per million are defined as ‘rare’. They represent about 25 per cent 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 per cent vs 65 per cent), 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, 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.