Ones to Watch: OncoMark

Ones to Watch | Thu 5 Nov | Author – Business & Finance

Business & Finance looks at Ireland’s promising emerging enterprises.

What is it?

OncoMark, an Irish biotech SME, are developing the OncoMasTR test to reduce the number of breast cancer patients receiving unnecessary chemotherapy.

Currently, the majority of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer are treated with chemotherapy, despite only 30% of them actually needing the treatment. Until now it has been difficult to identify the women who will benefit from aggressive chemotherapy.

The OncoMasTR test will help clinicians to decide whether or not a patient with early-stage breast cancer will benefit from chemotherapy or if they can safely avoid the treatment and its side effects.

Who’s behind it?

OncoMark is an Irish cancer diagnostics company founded by Prof. Willliam Gallagher and Steve Penney as a spin-out from UCD. Their offices are based in the NovaUCD.

How is it funded?

OncoMark were awarded €2.7m by the European Commission for the commercial development of the OncoMasTR test, under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 (OncoMark were ranked 1st in their funding category in Europe).

To date, the company has received approximately €4.6m from the European Commission to fund their participation in several collaborative cancer research grants.

Future plans?

OncoMark currently employ 10 staff at their laboratories in Dublin, and intend to grow and double this over the next two to three years.

OncoMark’s CEO, Des O’Leary, is currently raising investment funds to accelerate the uptake of OncoMasTR into clinical practice and to fund the development of additional pipeline products in other human cancers. 

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