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medical sciences

Major investment helps University of Tartu spin-off take genetic tests for cancer prevention to UK market

Antegenes team. Photo credit: Antegenes
Antegenes team. Photo credit: Antegenes
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The Estonian health technology enterprise Antegenes has signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement with Everything Genetic Ltd to introduce the genetic tests used for cancer prevention to the healthcare system of the United Kingdom. Together with the agreement, the Estonian enterprise received an investment of 500,000 euros.

Antegenes has developed novel genetic tests that enable to assess an individual’s personal cancer risks and provide science-based medical recommendations for prevention of the disease. The tests are based on the polygenic risk score technology, which helps clarify the person’s genetic predisposition to cancer and allows for more accurate prevention and early detection measures. Currently, tests are available to determine the genetic risk to four cancers: breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and skin melanoma.

Everything Genetic is a leading provider of genetic testing and distributor of genetic tests to both the healthcare system and corporate healthcare programmes in the United Kingdom. The company aims to provide genetic tests to both healthcare providers and patients, offering opportunities for detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cadiac and vascular diseases as well as other illnesses.

The CEO of Antegenes, Dr Peeter Padrik, said that he was very excited for the strategic partnership with Everything Genetic as this marks a step to a new era of personalised medicine. “This is a historic step in the development of Estonian health technology, resulting in wider application of Antegenes tests within the UK healthcare sector. We and our international partner have a clear shared vision of how innovative genetic solutions can help save lives and reduce the damaging impact of cancer on our society,” said Padrik.

The CEO of Everything Genetic, James Price, said that the investment into Antegenes’ polygenic risk testing technology can vastly improve the patient outcomes for those likely to develop cancers. “Genetic testing for cancer prevention has until now been only available in private clinics with costs running into thousands of pounds. Our partnership with Antegenes is an excellent way to bring down the cost of testing and take the innovative technology to as many people as possible,” said Price.

Dr James Mackay, Medical Director at Everything Genetic, explained that cancer is a disease heavily influenced by genetics. “Although it has long been understood that genetics plays a role in predisposition to cancer, the polygenic risk score technology gives proven data to demonstrate just how significant role an individual’s genes might play in the likelihood of them developing cancer. The earlier the patient’s cancer risks are known, the better can doctors plan and take preventative measures.”

“The genetic tests of Antegenes have the potential to make a real difference to cancer prevention by identifying people at increased risk of cancer, who will get timely screening and a personalised follow-up plan, regardless of age. It demonstrates a huge step in personalised medicine, which impacts individual patients’ outcomes across the UK,” Dr Mackay added.

According to the CEO of Antegenes, Peeter Padrik, it is very important that their solutions are trusted by top UK clinicians. The spin-off will use the new investment to further expand their testing service into new markets in Europe.

The Antigenes tests are based on peer-reviewed international research and have been validated using the anonymous population data of the Estonian Biobank and the UK Biobank.

Antegenes is an innovative health technology company and medical laboratory that develops and implements solutions for personalised prevention of major complex diseases. Antegenes was founded in 2018 and is an official spin-off company of the University of Tartu.

The article was originally published by University of Tartu.

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