Fri, 12 Jan 2024 | ADMINISTRATION
Arquer Diagnostics, a cancer testing firm based in the North East, has fallen into administration. Six staff have been made redundant following the appointment of Neville Side and Danny Dartnaill of BDO LLP as joint administrators of the company, which is based on Sunderland's North East Business & Innovation Centre.
The company is an innovative developer of diagnostic kits which could be used to detect, or quickly rule out, bladder cancer. Its debut product is Adxbladder, a urine test that can help in the detection of tumours in patients who are showing symptoms or for monitoring patients for recurrent tumours.
The firm’s tests utilise patented technology to detect a protein that is produced by the MCM5 gene, which is present in all cancer cells, but not in healthy organ-lining cells that produce fluids, meaning that the presence of MCM5 means a tumour is present.
The tests were made available free to the NHS for a period during 2020 as doctors sought to clear a backlog of patients requiring diagnosis or monitoring amid the disruption COVID-19 caused for hospitals. The test is reportedly able to rule out bladder cancer in the space of a few hours and is said to be 99 per cent accurate.
The company has also stated that the technology has shown promise in the future diagnosis of prostate and endometrial cancers and that products were undergoing clinical validations.
Joint administrator Danny Dartnaill said: "Unfortunately, the company’s latest sample test results weren’t as strong as hoped for and further progress would only have been possible with the injection of new investment. As this was not possible, the directors were left with no option but to place the company into administration.”
"However, the joint administrators are confident that there will be interest in the company’s intellectual property from parties who will be able to build upon Arquer’s research to bring new diagnostic tests to the clinical pathway.”
In its accounts to December 2022, Arquer Diagnostics assets were valued at over £2 million, while the company had net liabilities totalling £126,735.
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