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Bank-backed fund BGF takes stake in cancer treatment firm Cyted

A cancer diagnostics group which has received support from an NHS funding programme has secured millions of pounds from a vehicle set up by Britain’s biggest high street banks after the 2008 financial crisis.

Sky News understands that Cyted, which was founded in 2018 by a team of scientists and clinicians from the University of Cambridge, with support from Cancer Research UK, will announce this week that it has raised more than £13m from investors jointly led by the BGF and Morningside Ventures, an existing shareholder.

Based in Cambridge and with a laboratory in Huntingdon, the company develops artificial intelligence (AI) technology and digital diagnostic infrastructure to pave the way for the earlier detection of disease, with an initial focus on esophageal cancer.

The BGF, which has invested in hundreds of companies since its launch, is providing a significant chunk of the new capital.

The money will be used to help Cyted enter the US market and expand its research and development programmes to gastrointestinal cancers.

Cyted has delivered more than 15,000 tests to help diagnose and monitor patients across the UK – helping to combat the scourge of lengthy waiting times for endoscopies, which in turn has a detrimental impact on survival rates.

Its chief executive, Dr Marcel Gehrung, said: “This funding demonstrates a vote of confidence in our technology.

“Early-stage cancer is a major global health issue, and we believe that our technology has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of even more patients and their families.”

Lucy Edwardes Jones, a director at the BGF, said: “Cyted is one of the most innovative companies at the intersection of diagnostics and cancer.

“The company is addressing a real-world issue with a simple and scalable solution.

“Their technology is already being used across the UK health system with the potential to have a significant impact on patients around the world.”