HiloProbe has been granted SEK 2 million from Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova to validate a product that detects and helps treat people with colorectal cancer.
“This is an important grant for us and means we can validate our product and make it available to the healthcare industry sooner,” says Lina Olsson, CEO of HiloProbe.
HiloProbe has developed a product called ColoNode that is used for the diagnosis and prognosis of colon and rectal cancer by identifying tumor cells in lymph nodes and measuring their aggressiveness. This analysis is performed following surgery and the information it provides, in combination with other test results, can indicate if the patient requires further treatment or whether the surgery has been successful.
“Around 1.8 million patients worldwide get diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year and half of them unfortunately do not survive. Our goal is for more patients to survive,” says Lina Olsson.
The SEK 2 million grant has been awarded by Vinnova as part of its Innovation Project designed to support small and medium-sized companies.
“It is a very welcome and important grant for us, which will go towards financing an ongoing clinical validation study and activities linked to CE marking,” says Lina Olsson.
As part of the ColoNode validation study clinical material is currently being collected from 10 hospitals located throughout Sweden. The collection of samples from over 300 research subjects is expected to be completed during this year and is being conducted in close collaboration with Umeå University. HiloProbe is now working to CE-mark its ColoNode product and make it available for clinical use to the healthcare industry in 2021.
“The study enables an analysis of ColoNode alongside routine methods used today. All continued treatment of patients is based on routine methods as usual. This means our product can be directly compared with the routine methods used for lymph node analysis in healthcare today,” says Lina Olsson. “Marie-Louise Hammarström from Umeå University is heading the research study. The hospitals collect the clinical samples, while sample preparation and analysis are carried out in a collaboration between Umeå University and HiloProbe. This partnership is working extremely well and we’re looking forward to the first results.”
HiloProbe recently held a new investment round in which existing shareholders injected additional millions into the company. The shareholders are made up of Partnerinvest Norr, Northern Light Capital and private investors.
“Thanks to the grant from Vinnova and the new capital investment we can now increase the speed of development and conduct more thorough analysis of samples in the clinical study, which will ultimately result in a faster validation of ColoNode. We can also allocate more resources to meet the new directives for the CE marking of the product,” says Lina Olsson.
Photo of the Hiloprobe team; Marie-Louise Hammarström, Sten Hammarström, Anne Israelsson, Gudrun Lindmark, Harald Hedman, Lina Olsson, Linn Heikkilä. Photographer: Patrick Trädgårdh