Carduso Capital invests in the Groningen start-up CC Diagnostics that is developing an unique test kit for detection of early stage cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a worldwide problem, but in population-based screening programs the incidence of cervical cancers has decreased significantly in the last decades. With regular screening, the early precancerous changes in cervical cells can be detected and treated, and consequently preventing the development of cervical cancer. The founding of CC Diagnostics is based on a technology developed by dr. Bea Wisman, prof. dr. Ate van der Zee and prof. dr. Ed Schuuring from the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG).
Ground-breaking technology developed in the UMCG
The currently used cytological PAP-test is world-wide the most common test method on cervical scrapings to identify women with an increased risk of developing cervical cancer, despite the PAP-test is less accurate than we would prefer and many false-positive cases. A cytological false-positive outcome indicates that a woman has cervical cancer, but in reality, after weeks of uncertainty and stress, examination by the gynaecologist shows no cancer. The new diagnostic test will potentially replace the current used cytological PAP-test. The new test will lead to a cost saving of at least 360 million euros of annual healthcare costs in Europe. As this test kit is also applicable on self-sampled material, the test kit enables women to participate in the cervical cancer screening from the comfort of their own homes, leading to a higher participation rate.
“By investing in CC Diagnostics a ground-breaking technology developed in the UMCG will reach the market. This company will increase the quality of our healthcare, as well as it helps to bring down unnecessary costs. This makes CC Diagnostics a great fit for Carduso Capital,” says Frits Kok, one of the Carduso Fund managers. Co-founder and CMO of CC Diagnostics, Drs. Nutte van Belzen, adds: “Due to the financial participation of Carduso Capital and the active support of the University Medical Center of Groningen’s departments of Gynaecologic Oncology and Pathology we can do the final testing of our technology and take the leap to the market. The Carduso Capital financial support also made it possible to receive a RVO-Innovation Credit. All of this has provided us with the opportunity to accelerate our promising technology.”
Potential hidden gems
The province of Groningen is also a partner of Carduso Capital, through its Investeringsfonds Groningen (IFG). Representative Patrick Brouns says: “Because of the possibilities Carduso Capital has to offer new initiatives, potential ‘hidden gems’, will come to the surface and further energise the regional economic activity; one of our main goals with IFG.”
About Carduso Capital
Carduso Capital is an investment fund based in Groningen that participates in innovative technology companies with strong technological connections with the University of Groningen (RUG) and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and knowledge institutions within its network. Carduso Capital considers it essential to invest in early stage, innovative companies; or companies that at some point need financing to continue growing. Carduso Capital supports initiatives within the areas of Life Sciences, Energy and Sustainability on the basis of long-term cooperation. In addition to financing, Carduso Capital offers management support and the possibility to use their worldwide international network. Investors in Carduso are: EIF, Investeringsfonds Groningen, NOM, De Friesland Participaties and RUG/UMCG.