Supporting the development of a new blood test for prostate cancer
We are helping GlycoScoreDx Ltd. to commercialise their diagnostic test for improved detection of prostate cancer.
Every 45 minutes one man dies of prostate cancer in the UK. Developing better tests, that could detect prostate cancer earlier, and with greater confidence, could save thousands of lives. Right now, there is no single test for prostate cancer. A GP is likely to take a blood sample and measure the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA). If the PSA level is raised the GP may then refer a patient to hospital for further tests including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and a biopsy, which involves the removal of a small bit of the prostate. However, PSA is not very reliable. Some men with prostate cancer can still have low levels of PSA, while some men without prostate cancer might have raised PSA for other reasons. A better initial test could save thousands more men from having MRI scans and biopsies unnecessarily.
We have formed a strong relationship with Dr. Jennifer Munkley’s research group based at the Biosciences Unit within Newcastle University. They are developing an alternative blood test for prostate cancer called GlycoScore. Initial findings suggest that GlycoScore is more accurate than PSA. Recently they created the GlycoScoreDx Ltd. spin-out company to commercialise their test.
We helped Dr Munkley secure over £216,000 of external funding from the NIHR Invention for Innovation and MRC Confidence in Concept programmes. Through this funding we are supporting GlycoScoreDx Ltd. to further optimise and validate their test.
We are identifying the situations where GlycoScore could add the most benefit to patients. This involves designing, conducting, and analysing interviews with healthcare workers who work in different parts of the NHS including GP surgeries and hospitals. We are examining data from 600 samples to measure the performance of GlycoScore for detecting different types of prostate cancer and during disease progression. We are also undertaking health economic studies to examine the potential impact of GlycoScore on healthcare budgets during different stages of patient management and care.
These studies are guiding further development of GlycoScore. The work is also informing the design of future clinical studies by identifying the best patient population, setting and clinical outcomes.
Recently GlycoScoreDx Ltd. were announced as finalists in the “Outstanding Industry Collaboration” category at the 2021 Bright Ideas in Health Awards.
- Potential improvements in patient care, and NHS cost savings of up to £45 million per year, from a reduction in the number of unnecessary biopsies and MRI scans.
- Supporting commercialisation of the test. The team aim to have a CE-marked product by early 2023, which will be available for use within the NHS by 2026.
- Improving public awareness and involvement with the work through presentations to the Newcastle MIC insight panel.
Dr Munkley, Chief Scientific Officer, GlycoScoreDx Ltd. said:
“In 2019 my research group discovered a new diagnostic test for prostate cancer. I approached the MIC for help shortly after. I have received support and expert guidance for statistics, evidence generation, care pathway analysis, economic modelling, and so much more. This collaborative work has already led to three successful grant applications and will be essential to work we are doing to commercialise our test in our new spin-out company GlycoScoreDx Ltd. It’s safe to say that working with the MIC has been transformative!”
You can follow GlycoScoreDx Ltd. and Dr. Jennifer Munkley’s research group on Twitter to stay up to date with their news: