The new CE-marked assay is available for diagnostic use across the UK.

The laboratory test holds capacity to detect a protein called MCM5 that involves in cell replication, helping to diagnose pancreatic cancer.

With the support of simple colourimetric test, the new assay will measure the concentration of antibodies bound to the MCM5 protein, which are at higher levels in cells that are dividing rapidly.

CRT has licensed the MCM5 assay or ELISA test to Varleigh Dx, after the protein biomarker was first identified as a cancer biomarker by Cancer Research UK-funded researchers at the University of Cambridge.

According to CRT, the researchers demonstrated that using the MCM5 test alongside standard cytology testing enabled to diagnose patients who had received unclear results from repeat cytological tests.

Varleigh Dx director Clive Richardson said: “This test for pancreatic cancer is the first of a number of new tests for MCM5 technology that we are developing to assist in the early detection of cancer.”

Cancer Research Technology business development director Dr Phil L’Huillier said: “It’s always hugely satisfying to see discoveries originally made in the lab by Cancer Research UK scientists and licenced by CRT now reaching the stage where they can benefit patients and we’re delighted to have worked with Varleigh Dx to have made this possible.”