Under the agreement, Imperial College London will use Oxford BioDynamics EpiSwitch biomarker signature for the blood-based diagnosis of prostate cancer in the PROSTAGRAM trial.

PROSTAGRAM (prostate cancer screening trial using a group of radiological approaches including MRI and ultrasound) study is headed by Imperial College London urology chair professor Hashim Ahmed.

The trial, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, The Urology Foundation (TUF) and The British Medical Association (BMA), will evaluate the role of multiple diagnostic approaches such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and multiparametric ultrasound to screen prostate cancer.

As per terms of the deal, Oxford BioDynamics will assess the patients recruited in the study for prostate cancer by using EpiSwitch diagnostic biomarker assay.

The firm’s assay is based on six epigenetic systemic blood-based markers, and has been developed across several cohorts of more than290 patients with varying disease stages.

The PROSTAGRAM trial will enroll up to 406 male participants aged between 50 years and 69 years old. The recruitment is expected to be completed within 24 months.

According to the company, prostate cancer remains one of the most common causes of cancer death in men with more than 11,000 deaths in UK per year.

Oxford BioDynamics chief scientific officer Alexandre Akoulitchev said: “We are looking forward to contributing our EpiSwitch blood-based readouts to the comprehensive evaluation of these trial participants.

“We are delighted to join forces with a team of world-leading experts in prostate cancer, and looking forward to potentially improving the detection of prostate cancer at a curable stage by aiding in the development of prostate cancer screening programme.”

Oxford BioDynamics is engaged in the discovery and development of epigenetic biomarkers for use within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

The company has developed EpiSwitch technology platform to enhance drug discovery and development process and increase the success rate of therapeutic product development.