View the full list of funds available
Our online eligibility checklist helps you see which type of
finance might be right for your business.
A PIONEERING company which has developed a technology to speed
up and improve cervical cancer diagnosis has received £985,000 in
Zilico Limited has received a £750,000 investment from The North
West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact and a further
£235,000 from new and existing investors, including Fusion IP
The North West Fund for Biomedical is a sub-fund of the £185m
evergreen North West Fund that is jointly financed by
the European Regional Development Fund and the European
Zilico Limited, which was originally spun out from the
University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust, will be headquartered in Manchester.
Cervical cancer affects around 500,000 women worldwide each year
and is responsible for 300,000 deaths. Under current screening
practices in the UK, a woman will have a Pap smear or LBC test
every three or five years. If the test is positive, she will be
referred to a colposcopy clinic for a detailed cervical
Zilico is developing a new system with two applications to
provide 'real time' results for women undergoing both these types
of test, removing several weeks of waiting for a
The system consists of a portable hand-held device, a single use
disposable sleeve and docking station. This system is safe,
painless, and accurate.
The technology used, called electrical impedance spectroscopy,
can measure the resistivity of cells and so detects changes as
cells progress from normal to precancerous and then to
The first application of the device is positioned within the
referral population, and could help in reducing the number of
biopsies taken. The second application, which is under development,
will be positioned as a screening device and will help to reduce
the subjectivity and time-taken with current tests.
The referral application completed a pivotal European trial of
400 women in 2011 across three hospitals in the UK and Ireland. The
company has been disseminating these results at key scientific
meetings across the world.
Chief executive of Zilico, which was formed in 2006, Sameer
Kothari, said: "It is the strength of the Zilico proposition
including the recent pivotal trial data that has enabled us to
secure this significant investment."
"I am particularly pleased to bring on board SPARK Impact as an
experienced healthcare investor."
Zilico will use the investment to complete the manufacture of
commercial devices and to establish its route to market for EU and
Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact
and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: "Cervical
cancer is the second most common cancer in women under 35 and we
feel this technology really has the potential to become a
successful diagnostic tool for this cruel disease."
Zilico Limited is the 18th investment for The North
West Fund for Biomedical to date.
Sign up for our newsletter