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Cyted early diagnosis success as Cambridge founder wins Alexander Fleming Prize



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Cyted’s pioneering diagnostic platforms continue to register in the healthcare sector as the company prepares to double its headcount, while co-founder and CEO Marcel Gehrung has been awarded a major prize for his contribution to global public health.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks after receiving the Professor Hawking Fellowship 2019 at the Cambridge Union. Picture: Luke MacGregor
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks after receiving the Professor Hawking Fellowship 2019 at the Cambridge Union. Picture: Luke MacGregor

The healthcare entrepreneur, who earlier this year was selected as one of Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ 2021 listings in the science & healthcare section, has this month received the Alexander Fleming Prize awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at The New Enlightenment, Braemar Summit in Aberdeenshire. He said he was “delighted” to receive the honour.

Since starting operations in 2020, Cyted has evolved from a team of three scientists and clinicians from the University of Cambridge. Cyted’s mission is to build a world where disease is prevented rather than treated. To enable the earlier and faster detection of disease, it has developed game-changing technology at the cutting-edge of what machine learning and automatic can do. Its products and services combine AI and digital diagnostic infrastructure with next-generation biomarkers.

Its pioneering, fully-managed, end-to-end diagnostic platform streamlines diagnostic and clinical workflows, saving pathologists time and giving clinicians quicker access to answers and enabling access to better outcomes for all.

A Cytosponge device used to detect Barrett’s oesophagus
A Cytosponge device used to detect Barrett’s oesophagus

Cyted has piloted a novel, managed digital pathology model for more than 5,000 tests with NHS and private hospitals, with the aim to scale in 2022. New partnerships with private healthcare providers have been established to build managed pathways and virtualise pathology operations.

Through diagnosis of Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition which increases the likelihood of oesophageal cancer – famous sufferers include Humphrey Bogart and Christopher Hitchens – Cyted has already helped more than 3,500 patients enter the care pathway earlier, halting the progression of cancer and reducing pressure on the system. These 3,500 oesophageal cancer diagnostic tests – known as the Cytosponge test – have been delivered into NHS services across England and Scotland, with European pilots under way.

Over the next six months, the company headcount will double to more than 40, and laboratory operations will be moved to larger premises in Huntingdon. In October 2020, Cyted announced its acquisition of Huntingdon-based Pathognomics, which effectively brought crucial lab tests in-house.

Marcel Gehrung, CEO and co-founder of Cyted. Picture: Keith Heppell
Marcel Gehrung, CEO and co-founder of Cyted. Picture: Keith Heppell

Marcel Gehrung said: “At Cyted, we are committed to building a world where disease is prevented rather than treated. We recognise that cancer services in the UK are under extreme pressure, something which has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our game-changing technology aims to offer solutions that relieve some of this pressure through essential earlier and faster detection of disease.

“To continue to deliver on this, we must ensure we have the best minds as part of our team. We are excited to be doubling our dedicated team of pioneers and specialists to facilitate the delivery of our existing services and to develop new solutions that improve outcomes for patients.”

Over the coming months, Cyted will continue to support the NHS in the roll-out of its technology, digital diagnostic infrastructure and services to enable the earlier and faster detection of a range of diseases.



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