Hilco Streambank (“Hilco”) is seeking offers to acquire the intellectual property assets of Cytosystems Limited (In Liquidation) (“Cytosystems” or the “Company”) on behalf of the Joint Liquidators of the Company, Kenneth Wilson Pattullo and Kenneth Robert Craig of Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP.
Bladder cancer is the sixth most common disease in men and the seventeenth most common in women. The current gold standard examination tool in diagnosing bladder cancer is cystoscopy. However, cystoscopy is invasive and a source of distress for patients, and it also has a limited ability to detect disease or tumours in secluded corners of the bladder, constraining its clinical application. Founded in 2006, Cytosystems developed an advanced, laboratory-based diagnostic test for bladder cancer, BladderLight, to replace invasive, distressing and expensive endoscopic test procedures like cystoscopy.
BladderLight is the product of several years of research and development and over £7m in investment. BladderLight assay is a laboratory-based test used to help doctors diagnose bladder cancer in patients with blood in their urine and monitor patients previously treated for bladder cancer for recurrence. The Company’s test checks for the presence of mini-chromosome maintenance protein-2 (MCM2), a biomarker associated with a higher risk of cancers; the test uses small, fluorescently labelled antibodies (probes) which bind to the MCM2 protein and other cellular proteins, with the results able to be reviewed by an experienced cytopathologist or in conjunction with the Company’s BladderLight imaging software program.
The BladderLight software identifies tissue cells expressing MCM2 and with the characteristics of bladder cancer cells but not normal healthy bladder cells as cancer cells. The BladderLight test employs a two-pronged approach to diagnosis, combining molecular testing with imaging software analysis, helping eliminate false positives and negatives, enhancing the assay’s sensitivity and specificity and ensuring the test operates with optimal accuracy.
Cytosystems secured exclusive worldwide licence rights from Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, for using MCM protein antibody diagnostics in bladder and prostate cancer.
Response to market surveys of potential users and clinicians has been overwhelmingly positive. Prior to Liquidation, the Company completed major clinical trials in UK teaching hospitals, with encouraging results. The Company also made excellent progress towards FDA approval for its innovation, with the FDA supportive and providing guidance and regulatory pathway advice as the Company developed. Further, the Company had forged strong relationships with clinical trial partners in the US, who were engaged and supportive of the Company’s aspirations and prepared to provide the three clinical testing sites required by the FDA.
This acquisition opportunity allows a buyer to capitalise on development work carried out to date towards a solution that presents a faster, smarter and more cost-effective way of diagnosing and monitoring bladder cancer in a key addressable market.
Almost two decades old, the RPS brand is widely known and highly respected. The brand distinguishes itself from its competitors, offering a one-of-a-kind bladder cancer diagnostic solution.
Confidence in the brand was boosted by investment and backing from Innovate UK and c. £2.7m in funding from the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, Horizon 2020. The brand also received the recognition and support of the FDA, which saw a market and future for the technology within the key US market.
Strong recognition by those influential in the field has also boosted the brand. Cytosystems received the backing of the American Urological Association Reimbursement Committee, who described the Company’s innovation as the “Holy Grail of bladder cancer diagnosis.”
The Company was also invited Medica Trade Fair in 2017 through its involvement with Horizon 2020 and was allowed to showcase its pioneering technology and brand.
The Company holds registered trade marks, including a registered UK trade mark protecting the “BladderLight” product name across the design and development of diagnostic apparatus and medical services.
The Company will likely possess rights in the unregistered trade marks protecting the “Cytosystems” brand name and logo.
Unique elements of the BladderLight product are protected through a suite of granted patents and patent applications.
Cytosystems owns, or has under its control, three patent families, each embodying different inventions concerning the BladderLight diagnostic system, specifically the diagnostic methodology, the MCM2 monoclonal antibody, and the disposable cell collection device for the collection and preservation of cells from the urine. The Company’s patent applications are progressing internationally through the national phase in various key territories.
Further granted patents were licensed from Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, with whom the Company had a strong relationship.
In addition, Cytosystems also owns or controls several ‘blocking patents’, which are not being practised, that cover the use, through different methodologies, of the marker MCM2 in the diagnosis of bladder cancer and prostate cancer.
Cytosystems received ISO 13485 accreditation for designing, manufacturing and distributing non-invasive laboratory-based diagnostic tests for genitourinary cancers.
The Company is also likely to hold organisational knowledge and proprietary know-how in relation to the design of the disposable cell collection device.
The Company licensed commercially available software to analyse the samples and invested in developing its own proprietary algorithms, adding additional value to the BladderLight product and technology.
The Company owns the copyright in the website content hosted at the domains, previously showcasing the Company, its products, and pioneering clinical technology.
 F Bray and others, ‘Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries’  68 CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
All expressions of interest and bids are to be directed to Hilco in writing. A Bid Submission Form is available on request. Please contact Hilco to gain access to a virtual data room of further information on signing a confidentiality agreement.
The Joint Liquidators act as agents of the Company and without personal liability.
The bidder acknowledges that Hilco acts as an agent for the Joint Liquidators who offer for sale only what right, title and interest (if any) the Company possesses in the assets. Such sale will be without any warranties, expressed or implied. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco or the Joint Liquidators and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.
VAT, if applicable, at 20% will be added to the price. A non-refundable deposit of 20% will be payable by the buyer within 48 hours of bid acceptance. A buyer’s premium of 10% of the sale price is payable by the winning bidder. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco’s full Terms and Conditions apply.