Edinburgh-based Carcinotech has raised £4.2 million as part of its latest funding round and has plans to expand into the United States later this year.
Using its Carcino3D technology, the Edinburgh startup creates 3D bioprinted tumor models using cancer cell lines derived from patients, providing a platform for rapid, ethical, and accurate drug screening, as well as pre-clinical and personalised medicine testing to support cancer treatment.
Eos Advisory led the investment alongside the Investment Fund for Scotland (IFS), Scottish Enterprise, Old College Capital, Investing Women Angels, and existing investors TRICAPITAL, SIS Ventures, Gabriel Investment Syndicate and Alba Equity.
It is the first equity deal from the £150 million Investment Fund for Scotland — a £750,000 investment made through appointed fund managers Maven on behalf of the British Business Bank.
Launched in October 2023 by the UK Government-backed British Business Bank, the Investment Fund for Scotland aims to boost the supply of early-stage finance to small and medium-sized businesses across the country.
Carcinotech CEO and founder Ishani Malhotra said: “Our vision is to be at the forefront of cancer drug testing and provide personalised medicine testing to every individual suffering from cancer to improve their treatment and chance of survival.
“Working with global partners, leading pharma companies, surgeons, pathologists, and clinicians, Carcinotech aims to significantly accelerate oncology drug development.”
In October, Carcinotech announced a partnership with Gothenburg-headquartered Cellink, leveraging Cellink’s bioprinting solutions and Carcinotech’s expertise in producing bioprinted living tumours to develop cutting-edge cell line cancer models.
Malhotra added: “As part of ongoing commercialisation, we have built strong industry partnerships in Europe, and are now actively engaged in replicating these in North America.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, said: “Carcinotech has huge potential to transform the way cancer treatments are tested and developed with its advanced 3D bioprinting technology.
“The investment marks a significant milestone for the Bank’s Investment Fund for Scotland and so we are especially pleased to see it is supporting a female-founder, delivering cutting-edge medical technology in a high-growth sector, to expand internationally.”
Anne Muir, director of portfolio at St Andrews-based investment firm Eos, said: “Ishani and her team are breaking new ground in oncology, they combine a deep knowledge of the field with technology-driven systems that are set to bring about greater efficiencies in cancer research workflows.
“At Eos, we back innovative companies that positively impact the world and we are excited to continue our support as Carcinotech builds on its commercial traction and enters its next phase of growth from a base in Scotland.”
Maven partner David Milroy said: “Carcinotech’s progress over the last 12 months has been impressive and the company is ideally placed to apitalise on the need for more predictive, non-animal models for testing of anti-cancer drugs and the huge opportunity for personalised medicine in cancer treatment.
“Carcinotech’s models are reproducible and provided in a familiar format for high-throughput screening, key requirements for adoption by the pharmaceutical industry for the testing of drug candidates.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Ishani and her team and to drawing on Maven’s vast experience of backing smaller businesses to help scale this important business.”
Kerry Sharp, director of entrepreneurship and investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Carcinotech has gone from strength to strength since we first supported it as a startup in 2018, and we’re proud to have been a part of its incredible journey to date.
“It’s great to see the company expand into the lucrative US market and further develop its potentially life-saving technologies.
“Human health is a key opportunity area for Scotland and we believe that innovative, scaling companies like Carcinotech have an important role to play in transforming our economy.”