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Kingston University collaborates with UK neobank Science Card to drive major breakthrough in cervical cancer treatment




About Science Card
Press release

Science Card is creating a unique science funding infrastructure by collaborating with UK universities to enable users of its socially-conscious e-money current account app to directly support research projects focused on building a more sustainable future

London, 21 November 2023: Science Card (, the home of Britain’s first e-money current accounts dedicated to accelerating science and innovation, has announced a new collaboration with Kingston University London ( to fund life-changing research into the potential of fig latex in combating cervical cancer. 

Cervical cancer is a form of cancer found anywhere in the cervix, and is primarily caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a very common group of oncogenic viruses. Mostly diagnosed in women in their early 30s, there are about 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer each year in the UK, and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cervical cancer ranks as the fourth leading cause of cancer and cancer death among women.

Current cervical cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, harm healthy tissues as they cannot distinguish between cancerous and healthy cells, leading to hair loss, fatigue and severely weakened immunity. However, previous research conducted by Dr. Ashrafi’s team has demonstrated how fig latex, a substance derived from the unripe fruits of fig trees at the time of harvesting, can inhibit HPV-induced cervical cancer by boosting tumour suppressor proteins, without harming healthy cells as current treatments do.

The cutting-edge research project, led by pathology and cancer biology expert at Kingston University Dr Hossein Ashrafi, will build on this previous research to characterise the bioactive compounds of fig latex and understand its therapeutic mechanisms. The project, which will be conducted with a firm commitment to a no animal testing approach, aims to develop a less harmful, lower-risk approach to treating cervical cancer, with the goal of improving patients’ quality of life. 

This research project is focused on developing novel, life-saving treatment for cervical cancer patients and also holds the potential to treat other forms of cancer, which, ultimately, could make a huge positive impact on both the scientific community and society as a whole.

Associate Professor in Pathology/Cancer Biology at Kingston University Dr Hossein Ashrafi, who also holds a PhD from Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, is leading the project and believes fig latex could be crucial to fighting cervical cancer. “Cervical cancer is a major global health issue - with about one in 140 females in the UK being diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime. While current treatments can remove lesions, preventing spreading and reducing tissue damage remains a major hurdle, finding a safer treatment is absolutely critical,” he said. “Fig latex has demonstrated its potential in fighting cervical cancer but how it works remains unknown, and is exactly what we aim to find out with this project. Science Card and its users bring us hope and will help us get closer to our goal of finding a less invasive treatment for cervical cancer that reduces patient suffering.”

Science Card boosts UK STEM research by addressing funding challenges, fostering technological advancements and retaining talented scientists in the country. When the platform officially launches later this quarter, this research will be one of a dozen other scientific peer-reviewed projects that Science Card users will be able to contribute to and potentially stand to benefit from the commercialisation of the research’s intellectual property (IP). 

Daniel Baeriswyl, CEO and Founder of Science Card, comments: “During my PhD, it became clear that academic funding constraints were stopping us from making the difference we wanted to with our research. This experience inspired me to create Science Card. My goal is to bridge the worlds of finance and innovation, facilitating a more efficient flow of funds into research that can truly change lives. I am very confident in Doctor Hossein Ashrafi’s ability to use his proven expertise in cancer research to drive a major breakthrough in the development of a treatment method that is less invasive to patients. I sincerely hope this project will bring us closer to finding a cure for cancer and positively impact lives along the way.”

Science Card is a first-of-its-kind app-based e-money current account with a Mastercard debit card for everyday spending. Users can monitor transactions in real-time, set spending limits and create customisable vaults. Users can choose which scientific projects to support within the app and can receive detailed updates on the projects from the researchers themselves. Science Card commits 10% of profits to research projects.


Initially launching in the UK, Science Card’s future plans include expanding to Europe and the US through partnerships with top universities, aiming to reach over two million customers and fund millions in scientific research by 2028.

About Science Card

Science Card was founded in 2021 by deep tech entrepreneur Daniel Baeriswyl PhD, with a mission to build a financial ecosystem that accelerates innovation in science and technology, and will directly help build a sustainable future. Science Card’s fully-featured e-money current accounts and Mastercard debit card will enable its customers to become part of a movement to create a sustainable world, simply by carrying out their normal daily transactions. Science Card will bridge universities and banking, providing funding to scientific research and innovation from both its own profits and derived from its customers’ use of their accounts. With a particular focus on climate, healthcare and computing, the Science Card app also enables its customers to explore and engage with scientific research projects in these fields. Science Card successfully closed its pre-seed round in February 2023, and will be available to UK customers in late 2023.

About Kingston University London

Kingston University is ranked in the UK’s top 60 in the 2024 Guardian University Guide and was awarded Gold in the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Our research has helped shape government policy in the United Kingdom and is making important contributions to public life across the globe, responding to the major scientific and intellectual challenges of today. We consider research to be integral to our distinctiveness, success and sustainability and it plays a vital role in contributing to the quality of our learning and teaching. In the 2022 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 70% of our research was considered either world leading or internationally excellent and we are continuing to build our research reputation through fostering a collaborative, outward-looking research culture across the institution.

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