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#FounderFriday: RUBYNanomed - Non-Invasive Cancer Progression Monitoring

RUBYnanomed was founded in 2018 as a spin-off of INL and aims to bring lab discoveries to the clinical market. RUBYnanomed focusses on non-invasive monitoring of cancer progression through liquid biopsy. Cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide (9.6 million deaths in 2018), but 90 % of those deaths are due to cancer spreading or metastasis.

RUBYnanomed has developed the RUBYchip™, a microfluidic device for fast isolation of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), the cells responsible for metastasis, from unprocessed whole blood samples. Through the analysis of these cells, RUBYnanomed offers a non-invasive and real-time snapshot of cancer progression to oncologists.

The RUBYchip™ demonstrated higher efficiency and sensitivity against the reference CellSearch® equipment for different types of cancer (breast, colorectal, bladder, prostate). Our cartridge was able to isolate a higher number of CTCs, yielding viable cells and showing improved correlation with clinical prognostic information (Scientific Reports, 2019).

RUBYnanomed’s technology demonstrated that it is able to detect metastasis 6-months to 1-year earlier than conventional technologies. We expect that through this early CTC detection and analysis, oncologists will be able to personalise patient’s treatment and improve their outcome.

Currently, RUBYnanomed is running pre-clinical trials at 8 hospitals in different countries in Europe for 5 different types of cancer. In the short life of this startup, they won several prizes at different accelerators in the UK, Portugal and Germany including our 2018 AdMaCom where they walked away with the Grand Prize as well as the Crowd Favourite Prize.

Since AdMaCom, RUBYnanomed has won the Health Prize at the Emerging Technologies Competition in 2019 and most recently they have joined the PERSIST Project - a Horizon2020 funded project that aims to improve the management, intervention and prevention strategies to reduce side effects and prevent secondary diseases of cancer survivors. The project aims at developing an open and interoperable ecosystem to improve the care of cancer survivors.

As part of the PERSIST Project, RUBYnanomed will use the RUBYchip™ for the isolation of CTCs from a cohort breast and colorectal cancer patients included in this study. These cells are considered an objective cancer biomarker as they provide information about disease progression, which is highly complementary to the data collected by the wearable and mobile app.

The €300K RUBYnanomed received from the PERSIST project gives them the opportunity to boost their industrialisation process, by scaling up the fabrication of the RUBYchip as well as automate, the analysis of the captured CTCs.

Furthermore, RUBYnanomed have been able to grow their team by adding a Senior Scientist to help with the technical and administrative tasks related to the H2020 funded project.

To learn more about RUBYnanomed, their RUBYchip™ and their wonderful RUBYteam, visit their website and make sure to follow them on their LinkedIn to stay updated with their progress!

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