Cytosystems Secures Innovate Grant of £500,000

Aberdeen, 19 July 2016

Cytosystems, a clinical stage diagnostic company, developing new diagnostics for bladder and prostate cancer, and the University of St Andrews have been awarded a grant of £500,000, through the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The Award will see Cytosystems and the University of St Andrews develop an automated system for the analysis of cells isolated from urine and which have been attached to a microscope slide.  Experts in medical software development, cytopathology and urology will work together to develop software, which automatically analyses the cells, resulting in an extremely accurate test for the presence of bladder cancer. Alongside this, the team will work to create an intuitive software interface for a fully automated workflow from initial analysis to the end result.

This project will add to the current range of technologies developed by Cytosystems for the detection of bladder cancer. All of Cytosystems diagnostic technology is designed to meet a significant clinical need for a non-invasive in-vitro test for bladder cancer.

Cytosystems has developed a novel technology for urine cytology called BladderLight™. BladderLight™ is a novel stratification and risk management tool that enables a diagnosis with improved accuracy compared to current clinical practice. Furthermore, BladderLight™ is a cheaper and non-invasive alternative to the traditional method of cystoscopy; which is also both uncomfortable and has associated morbidities. This technology, when combined with their novel cell collection and processing device allows physicians to test a patients’ urine for the presence of cancer cells.

Not only will BladderLightTM aid the initial diagnosis of bladder cancer, the test will also relieve some of the burden of the management of bladder cancer post-treatment. Bladder cancer patients, due to the high recurrence of the disease, need frequent cystoscopy surveillance post treatment – up to four times per year in the first two years, then reducing to biannually, and annually after five years, which puts a considerable strain on hospital resource.

Alongside the development of the cell processing instrument and the automated analysis, the grant will also be used to secure regulatory approval in Europe and the US.

Dr Nigel McLean, Director of Product Management from Cytosystems, added: “This grant will significantly help in the development of our test for bladder cancer by reducing any further burden on already busy pathologists.  By working with the clinical and technology experts in University of St Andrews we can enhance the end-user experience and improve the scalability and adoption of the assay within the busy pathology environment.  BladderLightTM will be of great benefit to the patient and healthcare organizations. .”

Dr Peter Caie from the University of St Andrews, stated: “The cutting-edge image analysis technology involved in the BladderLightTM automated system captures complex measurements of each individual cell’s shape and size in the patient sample. It furthermore combines these single-cell resolution measurements with each cell’s protein biomarker expression thereby resulting in an extremely accurate assessment of the presence or absence of cancer cells within the urine sample.”

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For further information, please contact:

Tony Stephenson
Exitus Communications
Tel: +44 (0)7899 796655
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Notes to Editors:

Cytosystems is a clinical stage diagnostic development company, currently focussed on the development of technology for the diagnosis and management of urological cancers such as bladder and prostate cancer.  The company has developed a novel technology for urine cytology called BladderLight™, that enables a diagnosis with very high accuracy, that is non-invasive thus more acceptable to patients than the current invasive procedure. Cytosystems was established in 2006, and has been developing new diagnostic technologies that not only improve diagnosis and management of bladder cancer, but are also more acceptable to patients, by being less intrusive. www.cytosystems.com

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. We are business focused and drive disruptive innovation right across the UK economy, funding and connecting pioneering businesses so they can create the products, processes and industries of the future. It is our mission to boost productivity, increase exports and help the UK economy grow head and shoulders above other nations. For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit www.gov.uk/innovateuk, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/InnovateUK.