MDNA Life Sciences’ Newcastle lab works on new prostate cancer blood test

July 17 2019 @ 8:00 by Steven Hugill

A life sciences company has developed a new blood test for prostate cancer treatment.

MDNA Life Sciences says its Mitomic® Prostate Test is now available for clinical use.

Bosses say the test, developed at MDNA’s UK laboratory in Newcastle, takes advantage of unique characteristics of mutations in mitochondrial DNA as biomarkers, which can signify the presence of clinically significant prostate cancer.

They added the test is now available for clinical use thanks to its launch in the UK by partner Aspire Pharma Ltd.

Dr Andrew Harbottle, MDNA Life Sciences’ chief science officer, said: “We exploit the unique characteristics of mutations in mitochondrial DNA, which can act as biomarkers, providing us with a unique and detailed diary of damage to the DNA.

“This enables us to accurately detect many difficult to diagnose diseases and conditions, such as prostate cancer.

“Just as importantly, the ability of our Mitomic® Prostate Test to determine that clinically significant cancer is not present can help to significantly reduce the number of prostate biopsies required, thus saving costs in the health system and reducing stress and discomfort for many men.”

He added the test will initially be available privately, for self-funding patients, through private healthcare clinics with testing and result reporting being handled at HMR labs in London.

Additionally, Aspire Pharma is undertaking work with the NHS on a longer-term plan to make the test available more widely.

Graham Fraser-Pye, Aspire Pharma managing director, said: “We take great pride in the fact that we are working alongside MDNA Life Sciences to bring this exciting new test to the UK market.

“Diagnosis of prostate cancer has, until now, been lagging behind other cancers and we believe that with the launch and subsequent further use of this test, that will no longer be the case.”

Harry Smart, MDNA Life Sciences’ chairman, added: “Our test is the best performing prostate cancer blood test in the market and will fundamentally change the way this disease is detected and diagnosed.”

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