2022 Business Start-Up Award winner: Digistain

Digistain receives a Business Start-Up Award for solving treatment delays in breast cancer by using a biomedical implementation of infrared vibrational spectroscopy.


Digistain is a market-ready UK-based clinical diagnostics company transforming breast cancer treatment in a way that saves time, money and lives. 

Digistain's biomedical implementation of infrared vibrational spectroscopy

Whereas current diagnostics delay treatment decisions for a full month, Digistain provides oncologists with decision-making data in just 15 minutes. If chemotherapy is indicated, it can be initiated immediately, a critical concern when delays can make the difference between life and death. At the same time, the improved security of diagnosis means that unnecessary chemotherapy can be avoided in a much larger fraction of cases. Oncologists can leapfrog current technology to provide superior care quickly and affordably. The founders, Professor Chris Phillips and Dr Hemmel Amrania, hold PhDs from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London respectively, and their innovation has been rewarded with a Royal Society Innovation Prize, a Cancer Research UK Pioneer Award and an Innovate UK SMART award.

The Digistain technology was developed over 10 years of research at Imperial College London’s Department of Physics in collaboration with Professor Sir Nicholas Wright from Cancer Research UK and trialled successfully with NHS Hospitals with funding from the National Institute of Health Research. 

After a landmark trial with over 800 breast cancer patients, Digistain demonstrated equivalence to the current gold standard and received Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approval, meaning patients can now get the treatment they need without having to wait weeks or even months in frustration.

Digistain's biomedical implementation of infrared vibrational spectroscopy

About the company

Digistain is a biotech company that began in a physics laboratory at Imperial College London. It takes the guesswork out of cancer diagnosis by measuring the chemical changes that accompany the disease. It allows physicians to decide who needs chemotherapy quickly and easily.