Revolutionising breast cancer diagnostics

Company: Signatur Biosciences 
Sector: Health & Life Sciences, Ageing Society
Competition: Innovate UK Advancing Precision Medicine
Funding Secured: ~£700k


Signatur Biosciences is an Imperial College spinout backed by YCombinator. Its mission is to democratise breast cancer prognosis testing and bring it within reach for women around the world. There is a growing demand for precision diagnostics, and Signatur Biosciences aims to unlock a series of long-sought benefits, enabling the UK to become the world leader as a precision diagnostics provider.

The market problem

Approximately 55 million women are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in the UK each year. After surgery to remove the tumour, over two-thirds of patients can safely forgo chemotherapy, avoiding potentially severe complications and significant costs to the healthcare system.

Lab tests can guide this decision by telling whether a patient is in the high-risk or low-risk relapse category. However, the most commonly used test today costs nearly £3,000 and takes up to three weeks for results (as it can only be run in a centralised facility).

The project and its impact

Signatur Biosciences is developing OncoSignatur Breast, an affordable test that can be executed in local labs.

The test is designed to operate on standard machines, combined with a proprietary software. This innovative test will be completely conducted by local cancer centres and hospitals, using only the ubiquitous qPCR machines, the same that powered COVID-19 diagnosis throughout the pandemic, supplemented with user-friendly software.

This software, designed to streamline the operator’s tasks and generate patient reports, will be developed and validated under the proposed project. OncoSignatur Breast will remove logistical concerns, reduce the cost of testing, and shrink waiting times from weeks to hours.


Working with Granted really helped us pass a cap in our grant approach and quality. We would have not got our Innovate UK grant without their amazing support. – Celestin de Wergifosse, CEO