Newcastle-based rare cancer research start-up secures six figure investment to grow business

Newcastle-based rare cancer research start-up RareCan secures six figure investment to grow business

A Newcastle-based company, that is leading the way in rare cancer research, has closed a £340,000 seed funding round after securing investment which will help the business to move on with its next phase of development.

Rare cancer affects more than 70,000 people per year in the UK, more than 1 in 5 of the total. Sadly, about two thirds will die from their disease within 5 years, as compared with under half for more common cancers.

Championing the view that people with rarer forms of cancer should have the same opportunities in treatments and research as those with more common forms, RareCan brings patients together, helping them make their data available to researchers to fast-track the effective development of treatments and diagnostics.

Last year the company raised an initial pre-seed round of £200,000 following a joint Newcastle Angel Hub and NorthInvest pitch event. The money was used to recruit a cohort of new patients, further develop data capabilities, and grow the company’s operational and marketing capacity. 

Several of the angel investors from the pitch event last year have re-invested in the recent round to help raise funds of £340,000. This figure also includes investment from the Women Angels of the North Syndicate, a women-led business angel investment network offering a fresh approach to investing in female founders across the North of England.

The money will be used to grow and build out the business with a number of new roles created in technology and cyber security, social media, community development, scientific support and business support, all of which are based in the North East. In addition, further business development work will be done to recruit more new patients and continue the quest to learn more about these rare forms of cancer so the research community can develop effective treatments and diagnostic capabilities.

Speaking about the investment, Simon Allocca, Chief Financial Officer at RareCan said, “This is a really exciting investment for us. The money will allow us to build on the foundations we have put in place and grow our business by bringing in new team members with skillsets that will strengthen our existing operation. It has been fantastic to see investors from the pre-seed round re-investing for a second time. They are very supportive in seeing us achieve our mission to accelerate research and improve the outcomes for people with rare cancers.”

Jordan Dargue, Head of Access to Finance at the Innovation SuperNetwork and Founder of the Women Angels of the North Syndicate said: “This is a really exciting business that I’m delighted to see have another successful round of investment. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to help RareCan secure Angel investment through our programme of joint pitch events with North Invest, with many investing for a second time. The North East has a growing reputation for driving innovation in healthcare, and RareCan’s focus on supporting research into rare cancers will no doubt enable further innovation in this field. The Women Angels of the North Syndicate were struck by Rarecan’s desire to help those with rare forms of cancer and I’m looking forward to watching this business continue to accelerate research and treatment.” 

Helen Oldham, Founding Board Director of NorthInvest said “It’s terrific to see Rarecan go from strength to strength and watch the business grow its members and team. Given our longstanding commitment to supporting female founders, we’re thrilled to have supported co-founder Claire Heron and her expert team to raise investment with us for a second time.”

NorthInvest and the Newcastle Angel Hub bring investors together and connect them with businesses at all stages of growth seeking investment. The Newcastle Angel Hub is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with Invest Newcastle.