National award for cancer diagnosis spinout company

Dr Matthew Baker receives the Innovation Award from Ivan McKee, Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation

A company spun out from the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry has won a Scotland-wide award for its work in brain cancer diagnostics.

ClinSpec Dx was named winner in the Innovation category of the Scottish Life Sciences Awards, at a ceremony held in Edinburgh.

The company has developed inexpensive blood serum analysis techniques, based on the interaction of light with blood, which are able to diagnose the presence of a brain tumour within minutes. More than 265,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with brain cancer each year but only around 15% of these survive more than five years after diagnosis.

The award is the latest in a series of accolades for ClinSpec Dx, which was initially established in 2016. The company is based in Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, in the heart of Glasgow City Innovation District, where increasing numbers of companies and start-ups are locating to benefit from co-location with the University and the area’s world-class skills and talent base.

Dr Matthew Baker, a Reader in the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry and Chief Scientific  Officer of ClinSpecDx, said: “It’s an honour to receive this Innovation Award. Our thanks go to all our team and to the patients who have donated samples which have helped us to develop our product and our diagnostics for brain cancer.”


The founding team including Dr Baker,  Dr Holly Butler, Dr Mark Hegarty and Dr David Palmer , have won a string of awards since ClinSpecDx was created.

The business previously won the Higgs Award in the Scottish EDGE awards in 2018 and in the same year, at the Global Game Changers Awards, the company won in the Moonshot category. It also was runner-up at the Converge Challenge awards in 2017.

Dr Baker has won a number of individual awards, including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize and Spectroscopy Magazine’s Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award. He was named in the international 2018 Power List, compiled by Analytical Scientist magazine.

Dr Butler received the Women in Innovation award at the 2017 Global Game Changers and was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the same year’s Scottish Women’s Awards.

The ClinSpecDx Triage ID system was installed at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh in 2018, for a clinical feasibility study.