OncoMark, a UCD spin-out company, will receive €2.7m in the latest round of Horizon 2020 funding to be provided over two years to commercially develop a new diagnostic test for breast cancer patients.
OncoMark, headquartered at NovaUCD, focuses on the development of novel panels of cancer biomarkers to aid treatment decisions and allow more tailored patient management, ultimately improving the quality of life for cancer patients.
The award will fund the development and commercialisation of OncoMasTR, a novel prognostic assay to help clinicians decide whether or not a patient with early-stage breast cancer will benefit from a rigorous course of chemotherapy and reduce the number of patients receiving unnecessary chemotherapy.
The company, which currently employs 10 individuals, also plans to double its staff numbers over the next two years.
Des O’Leary, CEO, OncoMark said: “Currently, the majority of early-stage breast cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy, despite many not benefiting from such treatment, thereby exposing individuals to severe side effects. Approximately 30% of patients develop a recurrence of the disease within 10 years after initial surgery and, therefore, require aggressive chemotherapy, but it has been difficult to identify these individuals.”
The OncoMasTR test, which is based on the measurement of biomarkers present in individual patients, will enable a personalised approach to the treatment of patients, ultimately improving their quality of life.