Manchester-based start-up Honeycomb Biotechnology is developing innovative electrotherapy devices for the treatment of certain types of brain tumours. Compared to other diseases, the incidence of brain tumours is rare. However, the social and economic impact on society is disproportionately significant. Brain tumours result in loss of independence, suffering for patients and their loved ones, and loss of life. A 2018 parliamentary report estimated the UK economic costs of brain tumours to be £578 million each year, the third highest of all cancers despite the small numbers of patients with these diseases.
In recent decades there has been significant progress made in improving the treatment of many cancers. However, there has been a relative lack of progress when it comes to the clinical outcomes for brain tumours, particularly that of its most aggressive form, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Put simply, current approaches to treating cancer often do not work well for many brain tumours. A radically different approach to treating these diseases is needed. Our founders Dr Christopher Bullock, a biomedical engineer, and Mr Richard Fu, a neurosurgeon, recognised this unmet need when they met whilst conducting research at the University of Manchester. They realised that by combining their skills and expertise they could have the potential to develop innovative approaches for the treatment of brain tumours. In 2018, they founded Honeycomb Biotechnology to put their ideas into practice.