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Development of Oral Cancer Diagnostic Receives Backing

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Zilico Ltd has received funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.

Zilico Ltd has begun development work on a medical device which uses Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) in the detection and diagnosis of oral cancer following funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.  

The two awards are from the Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility and Smart Funds. The funds will help support an in-depth analysis of the UK market, deliver a product specification for an oral diagnostic device and a protocol for a multi-centre trial.

The funding builds on the proof-of-concept study that was recently presented and is part of a wider development programme leading to a multi-centre trial. The awards will help support development projects worth £160k.

Zilico’s lead product ZedScan uses its proprietary EIS technology to detect dysplasia and cancer of the cervix. As oral cancer follows a similar neoplastic pathway to that of the cervix, EIS can be used to detect changes in the oral epithelium as cells progress from normal to precancerous and then to cancerous.

The University of Sheffield’s Professor of Oral Medicine, Martin Thornhill, presented on the use of EIS in the detection and diagnosis of oral cancer and dysplasia to the most influential group of oral medicine experts in America last year.

Professor Thornhill’s presentation, Use of Impedance Spectroscopy to Detect Potentially Malignant Oral Lesions, was delivered at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) in San Antonio, Texas. The study on 50 patients was the result of a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Zilico Ltd.

The presentation abstract was published in the Oral Surgery, Oral Pathology, Oral medicine and Oral Radiology Journal in September 2013.  The full paper describing the study has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nanomedicine.

Zilico Chief Executive Sameer Kothari said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding, which will allow us to build on the proof-of concept study and positive feedback the data received at last year’s AAOM.

“We are now well placed to further develop the device and assess it in a multi-centre clinical study. There is a clear clinical need for a more accurate diagnostic in the patient pathway.”

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