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NICE prize

Work to develop a skin cancer test wins prize

Published on: 17 January 2018

A novel prognostic skin cancer test being developed by experts at Newcastle University has won a national prize for healthcare products that have the potential to change patients’ lives.

Today NICE Scientific Advice has announced that Newcastle University is the first winner of the NICE AdviSeME Prize for its novel prognostic skin cancer test AMBLor.

Developed by Professor Penny Lovat and colleagues at the Institute of Cellular Medicine, the test aims to improve the detection and prognosis of patients diagnosed with early stage melanoma in routine biopsies. By identifying people who have the highest risk of disease progression the test should enable increased clinical and radiological surveillance, as well as earlier access to potentially life-saving treatments.

People identified by the test as having a low risk of disease progression could be discharged from NHS care earlier, saving healthcare resources.

The test is undergoing further clinical validation at Newcastle University and should be launched within 2 years.

The Selection Panel was impressed with the clear definition of AMBLor’s value proposition, its clinical plausibility, its research base and its potential for further development. They also recognised the diagnostic test’s potential to address the unmet clinical need for better prognostic markers for early stage melanomas.  

AdviSeME prize

The NICE AdviSeME Prize was launched last year for small or medium-sized companies, charities and academic research groups, who are developing transformative healthcare products that have the potential to change patients’ lives and/or save the NHS money.

Leeza Osipenko, Head of NICE Scientific Advice, said: “Newcastle University will receive a free Light Scientific Advice Service from NICE, valued at £15,000. We will work with clinical and health economics experts to provide a comprehensive commentary on proposed evidence generation plans for AMLo’s development and implementation to help demonstrate the value of this product to the NHS.”

“This competition is an important step for us to engage with smaller organisations developing healthcare products and raise awareness of health technology assessment and the value of early engagement with payers.”

NICE Scientific Advice provides a fee-based consultancy service to developers of pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics and works with companies in the early stages of product development. Its aim is to help companies ensure that their clinical programmes collect data relevant for reimbursement decisions when assessing the clinical and cost effectiveness of new healthcare interventions.  

(Adapted with thanks from the NICE Scientific Advice Team)


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