Business Weekly | Tony Quested 28 Sep 2022
Oxford-based GENinCode plc, which is quoted on AIM, has acquired Cambridge’s ovarian cancer company Abcodia for a maximum £1 million.
The deal hands the buyer Abcodia’s globally leading algorithmic technology for the Risk Assessment of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm (ROCA) test.
GENinCode is a predictive genetics company focused on the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The acquisition of Abcodia and its ROCA test represents the first foray of GENinCode into the oncology market and the buyer says it is preparing plans to accelerate revenues for the ROCA test in the UK and for market entry into the United States and European Union.
Abcodia has been acquired with no upfront consideration on an earnout basis with a maximum payment of £1m, GENinCode reveals.
Based at St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge, Abcodia is a women’s health business focusing on early detection of cancer in genetically high risk populations.
Its flagship ROCA Test product is used for ovarian cancer surveillance in female BRCA carriers. ROCA is a simple blood test that assesses a woman’s risk of having ovarian cancer.
It is intended for women aged between 35 and 85 who have tested positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and who wish to delay risk reducing surgery.
ROCA has been evaluated in several prospective clinical trials, including the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study (UKFOCSS) and a NHS partnered real world study (ALDO).
Matthew Walls, chief executive officer of GENinCode Plc said:
“We are delivering on the plans set out at the IPO. We are also announcing today the acquisition of Abcodia Limited, Cambridge, and its Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm (ROCA) test and technology, representing our first step into the oncology market. We will provide a further update on the Abcodia acquisition and the ROCA product and technology over the short term.”
Spearheaded by Dr Julie Barnes and with serial entrepreneur Dr Andy Richards as chair, Abcodia raised $8 million in May 2015 in a global expansion push; the following year, however, the FDA in America warned women that early detection tests for ovarian cancer – including the ROCA test marketed in the US by Abcodia – were unreliable.
Abcodia rode out the potential storm and in 2019 joined forces with Cambridge Big Biotech AstraZeneca to push the technology from a new base in China.