The Roddenberry Foundation has awarded $1m to Elypta and $500,000 to five finalists for early-stage ventures contributing to United Nations Development Goals.

Elypta, a Swedish diagnostic company, aim to provide the first metabolism-based liquid biopsy for early detection of cancer. Elypta’s lead product, the Miriam, is a glycosaminoglycan kit manufauctered under contract by Merck KGaA.

Karl Bergman, CEO and co-founder of Elypta, told Medical Device Network that the award is recognition of what the company has achieved and shows the faith in its technology for cancer detection.

He continued by explaining how the prize money will help Elypta: “beyond the visibility of this prize, the funds boost our R&D efforts and enable us to explore improvements to our multi-cancer early detection test and help bring it to market. Our goal is to safely enable earlier detection of cancer for as many people as possible and the high detection rate to stage I cancer our biomarkers have shown is a key feature to that end. Cost of testing and ease of sampling are almost as important, and we will use these funds to make the most of our technology also in these areas.”

Liquid biopsy refers to the analysis of any tumor-derived material circulating in the blood or any other body fluid. The detection of mutations via circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) found in plasma has been rising in popularity due to its minimal invasiveness.

The technology is one of the hot topics in medicine and is attractive to investors, with the liquid biopsy market predicted to reach $6.8bn by 2028, with a CAGR of 20.9%.

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By GlobalData

Founded by Rod and Heidi Roddenberry, the Roddenberry Foundation holds the biennial Roddenberry Prize to award ventures that create ‘a more equitable and prosperous world in which everyone – regardless of background – can thrive.’

Five finalists received the remaining $500,000 from the $1.5m prize pool. Andes AG, Vesta, Avalo. Thylacine Biosciences, and Agla Biosciences all have products helping sustainability, fossil fuel reduction, or accessibility to testing.