Cyted, a group that develops and deploys digital diagnostic services for research and clinical use, has announced that it has received £500,000 in funding from the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) for Healthcare.

The funding will be used for Cyted’s Project CYTOPRIME and help to pilot the Cytosponge test, which can identify signs of early-stage oesophageal cancer. The pilot scheme will run across the North-West of England in community care settings.

Marcel Gehrung, CEO and co-founder at Cyted, said: “We are delighted to be expanding the use of the Cytosponge test to community settings in the North-West of England with support from the SBRI."

“This will support the recovery of endoscopy waiting times in one of the regions under most demand across the country, helping patients access potentially life-saving cancer treatment sooner and relieving some stress and concern during a difficult time. We look forward to working with our NHS partners to broaden the reach and impact of the initiative in the coming months.”

Through Project CYTOPRIME, healthcare professionals will receive training on how to deliver the Cytosponge test, which is designed to shorten waiting times between referral and diagnosis and catch oesophageal cancer in the early stages, when treatments are more likely to be effective.

Dr Jodie Moffat, head of strategic evidence and Early Diagnosis Programme lead, at Cancer Research UK, added: "After decades of research by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists, we are excited to see the different ways Cytosponge is being explored in practice, including this latest project in the ​North-West. A quick, efficient, and minimally invasive diagnostic test like the Cytosponge could mean that some patients don’t need an endoscopy, which could save people from a long and anxious wait and also free up capacity for others."

If the pilot is successful, the service model for the Cytosponge test could be adopted by other regions across the UK.

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