- Date 1 Sep 2020
Mursla, a liquid biopsy company, has raised £410K from the UK Government’s Future Fund and existing investors. In addition, the organisation has secured a £40K COVID-19 grant from the Cambridgeshire Capital Grant Scheme.
The funding will enable Mursla to finalise its work on its novel exosome-based liquid biopsy platform, ExoPheno™, with the aim of demonstrating how the platform can detect cancer signatures in plasma from solid tumours via exosomes.
Exosomes are heterogeneous vesicles naturally released by all cells during their lives, especially tumour cells, and usually carry biologically active molecules that can deliver their messages to local or distant targets.
A cancer liquid biopsy is a test undertaken on a blood sample to look for tumour information, including from nucleic acids or proteins, that is circulating in the blood. Much less invasive and heterogeneous than traditional biopsies, which require local anesthesia and often cause discomfort to the patient, this simple blood draw could routinely offer life-saving early cancer detection or help monitor tumours during and after treatments.
The liquid biopsy space has seen tremendous progress over the last five years, as evidenced by the first FDA approval for cancer liquid biopsy via nucleic acid sequencing as a companion diagnostic in August this year. However, due to its lack of sensitivity, this route failed to demonstrate game-changing early cancer detection. Mursla’s novel approach could provide the solution to this problem.
Mursla has also recently relocated from its roots at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge to its own laboratory and office space at the Cambridge Science Park.