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Dementia Dx Firm Cytox Raises $2.5M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Dementia diagnostics firm Cytox today said that it raised £1.5 million ($2.5 million) in a second round of funding.

The financing was led by existing investor Spark Impact, manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical. Other existing investors, including Wren Capital, the Rainbow Seed Fund, and private investors also participated in the round, as did new investor Seneca Partners.

Based in Manchester, UK, Cytox is leveraging discoveries made by its scientific founder Zsuzsanna Nagy around cell cycle-related biomarkers associated with the risk of developing dementia. Specifically, the company is investigating the role of mTOR pathway dysfunction and developing prognostic tests for assessing cognitive decline and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Cytox has developed a lymphocyte-based assay technique to identify the phenotype related to an individual's cell cycle regulation, it said on its website. Combining this information with a proprietary algorithm and other tools, Cytox generates "an integrated measure of relative risk of cognitive decline."

Its method, the firm said, has a sensitivity of 86 percent and a specificity of 82 percent.

Cytox CEO Richard Pither said that the firm last month began a program to evaluate its mTOR pathway biomarker technology. "This new money will allow us to extend the clinical research program and more rapidly access potentially valuable utility claims," he said in a statement.

The company said that it raised £3.5 million in May 2013.