Working together to improve outcomes for people with rare forms of cancer

RareCan is a digital health start up specialising in supporting people with rare and less common forms of cancer. By bringing together people with rarer cancers and their data, creating a research platform to accelerate the pace at which new diagnostics and treatments are brought to market.

Our partners

We collaborate with partners across the healthcare system to support patients with rare cancers.

NHS Newcastle
Cancer Research Horizons
Testicular Cancer UK
Neuroendocrine Cancer
Sarcoma UK
National Horizons Centre Logo
Simon Allocca

Simon Allocca

RareCan co-founder & CFO

When our 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma I was shocked to be told that her prognosis was so poor and that she had less than a 50% chance of surviving longer than 5 years. She survived for 3. There seemed to be an acceptance that this type of prognosis was acceptable.

It cannot be right that the outcome for people diagnosed with a rare cancer has not improved in the last 40 years. However, when you realise that protocols for treating these cancers have not changed it is easy to understand why this is the case. The answer is quite simple, there are very few clinical trials for patients with a rare cancer and oncology drugs, existing or new, are not being used to improve patient outcomes. RareCan has been set up to address this issue.

I love the fact that RareCan is looking to disrupt the status quo of how to drive clinical research by putting power into the hands of the patient.

Why, in this day and age, do we think that it is acceptable that life expectancy for those people diagnosed with a rare cancer has not improved for 40 years. Something needs to change. This is where I believe RareCan can make a difference by challenging the way clinical trials are undertaken.

Who does not want to be part of something that will improve the outcome of people diagnosed with cancer? By being part of the RareCan team I am making a difference and having a positive impact on a group of individuals that have not had the benefit of progress made in proven medical treatment.

I believe that RareCan can make a major contribution to improved outcomes for people diagnosed with a rare Cancer.

Our mission

RareCan specialises in supporting patients with rare and less common cancers. We are connecting people with rarer forms of cancer to the resources and tools they need to understand and manage their lives with rare cancers. Through doing this we are creating a platform to accelerate research and clinical trials into these rare cancers, with the aim of improving outcomes and survival.

RareCan selected for the Startups 100 list in 2023

By RareCan Team

RareCan has been recognised as one of the 100 most disruptive and innovative small businesses in the UK in the 2023 Startups 100.

For the 15th year, has identified which UK businesses launched in the last five years are making waves..

Francis Crick Institute

RareCan selected for KQ Labs programme

By RareCan Team

RareCan, the UK’s only health tech company that specialises in supporting people with rare cancers, has been selected to join the prestigious KQ Labs programme..

The RareCan board

Andy Hall 2022

Andy Hall

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Andy retired from Newcastle University in 2016. After qualifying in medicine, he specialised in haematology before moving to laboratory-based research in childhood leukaemia. He was the Director of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and has served as a non-executive director for the Human Tissue Authority and as the chair of an NHS Research Ethics Committee.

Piers Kotting 2022

Piers Kotting

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Piers was a Research Delivery and Programme Director at the National Institute for Health Research. He is an alumnus of the NHS Innovation Accelerator and Gateway to Leadership rogrammes, and an Honorary Associate Professor of Healthcare Innovation and Commercialisation at the University of Exeter. Piers has an MBA and previous start up and managerial experience in the private sector.

Simon Allocca 2022

Simon Allocca

Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer

Simon has 30 years’ experience in banking, spanning Capital Markets, Corporate Coverage, Risk and Investment Banking Business. Most recently, he was Managing Director, and Global Head of Industrials and Manufacturing at Lloyds Banking Group from 2011 to 2019. Simon is currently a Non-Executive Director at CBM plc and he is also a Board member of Digital Identity Net, a fast growing Fintech company.

Claire Heron 2022

Claire Heron

Co-Founder & Non-Executive Director

Claire was the Project Manager for the MRC/EPSRC-funded Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node. Claire has been a professional project manager for over 20 years and brings diverse experience from a range of environments including NHS, Higher Education and Local Government. She specialises is the delivery of projects in complex and challenging environments.

Amanda Gibbon 2022

Amanda Gibbon

Non-Executive Chair

Amanda is a vice chair of Whittington Health NHS Trust and an associate non-executive director of Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. She has extensive experience of lay involvement and governance within the NHS and public sector, having been a governor of UCLH NHS Foundation Trust for nine years, where she continues to chair both the trust’s Organ Donation Committee and the UCL/UCLH Biobank Ethical Review Committee. She was a Member of the Human Tissue Authority from 2014 to 2021 and a member of the UK Donation Ethics Committee until it was wound up in 2016. She is a lay member of NHS Blood and Transplant’s National Organ Donation Committee and chair of the steering committee for the UK CRC Tissue Directory and Co-ordination Centre as well as a trustee of various charities and a magistrate.

Anita Cooper 2022

Anita Cooper

Non-Executive Director

Anita is a recognised leader within the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector. With over 30 years’ global business experience, Anita has worked across diverse functions, skill levels and geographies, including strategy development and implementation, risk management, operations and technology-enabled process transformation across the world.

The RareCan team

Deborah Copland 2022

Deborah Copland

Communications Advisor

Steven McGurk

Digital Marketing Officer

Phoebe Lee 2022

Phoebe Lee

Head of Product

Deborah Davis 2022

Deborah Davis

Membership & Science Communications Officer

Celia Helliwell

Finance Administrator

Lindsay Montgomery

Member Engagement Officer

Yash Tomar

Business Development Executive

Andreea Prisecaru

Business Development Executive

Adam Ogwu

Scientific Operations Manager

About RareCan Limited

RareCan Limited is an organisation set up for the purpose of speeding up research and ultimately improving outcomes for people with rarer forms of cancer. We have adopted a legal structure that we believe achieves the right balance between providing an attractive investment opportunity to stimulate and maintain the financial backing required to set up and grow RareCan in a sustainable manner, as well as ensuring that we remain true to our purpose. Alongside this, we have plans to start a social benefit trust, which will be funded by the profits generated by RareCan to be fed back into the rare cancer communities we serve.

Our values

We are an organisation that exists to improve outcomes for people with rarer forms of cancer and everything we do is governed by our core values.


We believe that by empowering our members we can increase their chances of survival.


We work right across the healthcare system in order to improve standards of treatment.


We believe that the healthcare system needs evolve in order to transform patients’ chances of survival.


We believe that courage is contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.

Commitment to improving outcomes

We created RareCan because we had first-hand experience of rare cancer believe that research trials are a force for good.