Perth medical device company, OncoRes Medical, has won top honours at a globally-recognised startup event, which saw MD Kath Giles pitch to an international audience including the Duke of York, Prince Andrew…
When you announce you are in the market for a $15 capital raising, it is pretty good timing to win a global pitch event, organised by royalty and held at a real live Palace to boot.
And yet that’s what Dr Kath Giles and her team have done, having been pronounced joint winner from 23 global entrepreneurs who pitched their businesses to an influential audience at Pitch@Palace Global 3.0 at St James’s Palace in London overnight.
This was the culmination of 45 events that have taken place in Australia (including Perth for the first time), Bahrain, China, Hungary, Singapore, UAE, the UK and Vietnam over 2018.
OncoRes, which is developing an imaging tool to improve the outcome of breast cancer surgery, beat off stiff competition to win the Perth then Australian rounds of the international Pitch@Palace competition held in Brisbane a few weeks ago, and then got the chance to pitch against other national winners from around the Commonwealth.
While there is no cash prize associated with Pitch@Palace, it provides fantastic exposure to an influential global audience and comes with a guarantee that the winner will be actively promoted to the Pitch@Place network.
OncoRes Managing Director and CEO, Dr Kath Giles, well known among Perth’s medtech and startup community, has done her company, the med sector and Perth startups proud taking her pitch through the Perth qualification rounds, the nationals and now the main event at the Palace last night.
“This is a major opportunity for us here at OncoRes. We have just finished our diagnostic accuracy study, and the results have been incredibly positive, with 95 percent accuracy in detecting cancerous tissue across a sample of 70 patients. Compared to similar studies and technologies, this is an extremely positive result.”
OncoRes is looking to raise $15 million in Series B financing early next year to help the company progress through FDA approval and pivotal clinical trials. To date the company has received $6m of venture capital investment from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), Australia’s leading life science investment fund.
Reducing unnecessary breast cancer surgery
The OncoRes team is developing a handheld imaging probe and console to provide real-time intraoperative guidance to surgeons by delineating breast cancer tumour from healthy tissue, at a microscopic level. OncoRes Medical’s goal is to provide surgeons with an image identifying residual cancerous tissue remaining within the breast, so it can be removed during surgery, reducing the need for repeat surgery, which currently happens in 30 percent of cases.
Unnecessary surgeries cost the health care system over $2 billion annually in Europe and US and this figure does not take into account the physical, psychological and economic impact of these surgeries on patients and their families.
“It’s fantastic that the OncoRes team has received this recognition,” said OncoRes Medical’s Chief Scientific Officer, Brendan Kennedy.
“Our clinical studies and technical development have gone really well this year and this is the icing on the cake. We’re looking forward to pushing on next year and moving closer to product launch.”
Leading breast cancer surgeon, Professor Christobel Saunders AO who leads the clinical development, says “As a surgeon, our problem is not being able to identify the extent of a cancer at operation and thus the risk of leaving cancerous cells behind. We believe this technology has the potential to overcome this, leading to more efficient and effective surgery for the many 100s of thousands of people who undergo cancer surgery globally each year”.
After breast cancer, the team plans to see the technology used in the fight against other cancers and to be used in robotic surgery.
The other joint winners on the night were Logivan – which is seeking to be the “Uber for trucks” in Vietnam – and Matibabu – a portable hardware device that offers cost-effective and rapid early diagnosis of malaria – from Uganda.
MAIN IMAGE: the 3 winning teams with the Duke of York overnight (Source: Pitch@Palace website)