About ManTRa Diagnostics

ManTRa DX is a diagnostics development company originating from the Translational Radiobiology group, led by Professor Catharine West and based within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) part of the University of Manchester.

Resistance to treatment

Solid tumours have different amounts of oxygen and low levels (hypoxia) are associated with resistance to treatment and a poor prognosis. Around half of solid tumours will be hypoxic, which reduces the efficacy of surgery, radiotherapy, and many chemotherapeutic agents. Conversely, there is likely to be an enriched population with low tumour hypoxia with increased efficacy.


There is currently no way to measure the level of hypoxia in tumours in routine clinical practice

ManTRa DX has developed tumour-site-specific gene expression signatures to assess hypoxia which has the potential to deliver major advances in personalised cancer medicine. The signatures can be used to stratify patients for treatment and as a mechanism to direct therapy choices.

Meet our team

ManTRa Diagnostics is led by co-founders:
Professor Catharine West and Joely Irlam


Joely Irlam

Co-founder/Project Manager

Joely has +25 years’ cancer research experience (Christie Hospital, UoM) (30 publications). Contributed to closed aseptic T-cell transfection/expansion systems, forming the basis of future CAR-T cell therapies. 15-years developing/validating/delivering hypoxia-associated biomarkers. Technical expert in clinical biomarker platform discovery, spearheading commercialisation of ManTRa’s technologies to deliver genomic tests for personalised cancer treatments and improved patient outcomes.


Professor Catharine West

Co-founder/Scientific Lead

Catharine launched the international Radiogenomics consortium. She is an international key opinion leader (328 publications, ~£61M research funding), with an international track-record in developing hypoxia-associated biomarkers.

Awards include:

2016 Association for Radiation Research Weiss Medal.
2017 European Radiation Research Society Bacq & Alexander Award
2018 Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists.

External advisors

David Gokhale

Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine
Principal Clinical Scientist and Technical Team Manager – Innovation & Development

Professor Rob Bristow

Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre
Interested in novel clinical trials that intensify cancer therapy to prostate cancer patients whose tumours harbour hypoxic sub-regions.

Dr. Stephen Little

Successful career in fields of personalised medicine and molecular diagnostics, within Celltech, AstraZeneca, founded DxS (successfully
acquired by QIAGEN), founded Premaitha Health (now Yourgene PLC).

Dr. Jan Taylor

Bioinformatics Lead at North-West Genomics
+20 years of bioinformatics experience.

Dr. Guy Betts

Consultant Histopathologist
Validated our H&N signature during his PhD studies and has continued to work with us providing expertise in pathology to ensure any biopsy material we measure contains tumour material.

Clinical advisory group (Christie NHS)

Professor Peter Hoskin

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Professor Ananya Choudhury

Chair and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology

Dr. David Thomson

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Project Partners

Dr. Paul Docherty

Business Development Director
+20 years’ sales experience within the industry (instrumentation, reagents and kits for research and diagnostic assays). Co-founder of genomic CRO and biotech company, Ex5 genomics.

Bhavika Patel

Technical Director
Extensive research experience including AstraZeneca (5-years), Hematogenix, Hologic, PPD, and Ex5 Genomics.

Specialist in target validation, biomarker discovery, efficacy assessment in oncology, clinical testing and diagnostic testing, leading CDx, LDT and RUO development projects. Experienced CAP/CLIA supervisor. PD and BP are supported by an extensive team experienced in regulatory affairs, software development, and assay-development.


If you are interested in discussing our technology further, then please register your interest or send us an enquiry