Licence deal brings breakthrough prostate cancer test closer to clinical use

Wednesday 13 March 2013

The University of Surrey has signed a world-wide non-exclusive agreement with international diagnostic specialist Zeus Scientific to develop and market its breakthrough urine biomarker, EN2. This signals a significant step forward in the battle against prostate cancer which kills nearly 11,000 men in the UK every year.

In a joint statement issued today, the University and the Prostate Project Charity, who jointly funded the research, said:  "This is the news we have all been waiting for. In 2 years of extensive trialling in the United States and Europe, EN2 has consistently outperformed the 30 year-old PSA test proving itself to be twice as effective at finding prostate cancer."

In 2011 scientists at the University of Surrey developed a new way of more reliably detecting prostate cancer by testing a small urine sample from men, allowing faster testing that could save lives and offer the potential for huge cost savings. The research centred around a protein called Engrailed-2 (EN2).  This protein is made by prostate cancers and secreted into urine where it can easily be detected.

Hardev Pandha MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Oncology, University of Surrey, and Consultant Medical Oncologist, Royal Surrey County Hospital, comments: "The University of Surrey is looking forward very much to working with Zeus to introduce EN2 as a novel diagnostic test for prostate and bladder cancers.  Our tests have shown that levels of EN2 correlate strongly with disease volume. Knowledge of disease volume may help urologists assess whether the patient has a small volume of disease that may be safely and actively monitored or a larger volume that needs to be treated."

Scott Tourville, CEO of ZEUS Scientific, comments: "Zeus Scientific is excited to execute this agreement with the University of Surrey. This represents Zeus Scientific's continued expansion into the diagnostics of cancer and other diseases using novel biomarkers that have strong scientific data supporting their clinical utility." 

Colin Stokes, Chairman and co-founder of the Prostate Project, said: “This is a very significant moment for all men. It represents the real possibility of this simple, inexpensive and accurate urine test being in clinical use worldwide within 2 years.  There is no doubt that it will save many lives and I would thank our many generous supporters who have helped make it possible.”

For the Prostate Project please contact: Tim Sharp, T: 07989 865702 or E: tim@timothysharp.co.uk

Media Enquiries

Peter La, Press Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: +44 (0)1483 689191, or Email mediarelations@surrey.ac.uk

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