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Cytox Raises £2.6M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cytox said today that it has raised £2.6 million ($3.3 million) in new financing. The British genetics company will use the proceeds to support the roll out of its Alzheimer's disease testing service.

GM&C Life Sciences Fund — a Manchester, UK-based seed and early stage venture capital fund managed by Catapult Ventures — led the round as a new investor. Existing investors Perivoli Innovations, the Rainbow Seed Fund, the University of Oxford, and other private investors also contributed.

Oxford-based Cytox has developed a genetic prognostic test for Alzheimer's disease. It relies on a custom 130,000-marker SNP chip, called the variaTECT SNP Research Array, to assess an individual's risk of developing the disease before any symptoms manifest themselves. Affymetrix, now a Thermo Fisher Scientific company, manufactures the array.

Cytox is now marketing the tool to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developing anti-dementia drugs. It is also planning to launch it as a service via a US CLIA-compliant lab by the end of this year.

CEO Richard Pither said in a statement that the new investment was "extremely valuable" to Cytox as it seeks to commercialize its services for testing for Alzheimer’s disease.

In connection with the financing, Catapult venture partner David Whitcombe has joined Cytox's board as a non-executive director. Whitcombe is a former founder of DxS Diagnostics, which was sold to Qiagen in 2009 for £100 million.