UK precision medicine group Cytox has raised £2.6 million to fund the commercial launch and international roll out of its comprehensive testing service for Alzheimer’s disease.

Cytox has developed, in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific, a genetic prognostic research test able to predict “with a very high degree of accuracy” the risk of someone developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) many years before the first signs emerge.

The funds will help the company to launch its genetic testing platform and related services to pharma and biotech companies developing dementia medicines.

The funding round was led by the GM&C Life Sciences Fund, managed by Catapult Ventures, alongside existing and new investors, including Perivoli Innovations, The Rainbow Seed Fund, The University of Oxford and private investors.

Also, Dr David Whitcombe, a Venture Partner with Catapult Ventures, is to join the board of Cytox as a non-executive director.

“I’m extremely pleased to welcome Catapult Ventures as a new investor in Cytox and David to the board,” said Cytox’ chief executive Richard Pither. “David’s expertise in genetics, diagnostics and developing strong commercial partnerships will be extremely valuable to Cytox as we seek to commercialise our services for testing Alzheimer’s disease.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects over 46 million people around the globe, but is expected to hit 74.7 million in 2030 and more than 131 million people by 2050 with an economic impact to exceed two trillion dollars.