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Antoinette Perry, Epicapture

Improving the care of cancer patients through the development of accurate, non-invasive, urine diagnostic tests to identify aggressive cancers.

What problem are you solving and what is innovative about your approach?

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in developed Western economies. The clinician’s challenge is to detect if cancer is present and, if it is, determine if the cancer is indolent or aggressive. Unfortunately, a lack of accuracy in the standard tests - the PSA blood test, digital rectal examination, MRI scan, and even the “Gold Standard” of prostate cancer diagnosis - the transrectal prostate biopsy - results in overdiagnosis and overtreatment of men with associated quality-of-life issues for patients and economic cost to healthcare systems.

Our solution is EpiCapture-prostate, an accurate, non-invasive, urine test for the detection of aggressive prostate cancer that will enable clinicians to have a high level of confidence in deciding which men and when to biopsy. Test performance has been demonstrated in two, independent, blinded studies of men in the US, Europe, and Asia.

How is this idea commercially attractive?

EpiCapture-prostate has significant commercial potential as prostate cancer is a large and growing global challenge. Globally, 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 375,000 die from the disease each year. Incidence is particularly high in Western, developed economies including Ireland which has the third highest incidence in the world.

Our ambition is for EpiCapture-prostate to run alongside the ubiquitous PSA blood test. In the USA, an estimated 25 million PSA tests are done each year. Population and prostate cancer incidence metrics suggest that the European market opportunity is significantly larger than the US.

EpiCapture-prostate is run on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines which have grown in numbers to meet the demand for Covid-19 tests. With demand for Covid-19 tests expected to reduce through time, EpiCapture-prostate represents an opportunity for PCR platform owners/operators to build a more sustainable, high value revenue stream.

What do you hope to achieve by participating in Big Ideas?

Big Ideas is a great opportunity to raise EpiCapture’s profile with:

  • Companies whose commercial interests are aligned with our objective of getting EpiCapture-prostate into markets as quickly as possible for the benefit of patients, clinicians, health care providers, and insurers; and
  • Investors - in particular, experienced, early stage medtech investors who can support our ambition.