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ASTUTE 2020 Update September 2020

Here at ASTUTE 2020, we can support your business throughout this period of uncertainty. Our world-class academics and technical experts from across our strong Welsh Universities partnership are available to support you through research and innovation activities. If you wish to discuss opportunities for working with us e.g. to modify your production to develop solutions to support the fight against COVID-19, you can contact us via email.


Image: Development of a Point of Care (POC) Test for Detection of Urogenital Cancers

Development of a Point of Care (POC) Test for Detection of Urogenital Cancers

Business: Morvus Technology Ltd.

Result Areas: New Point of Care test & proof of concept instrument
Technologies: In vitro clinical diagnostics test development, optoelectronics


Morvus Technology Ltd. is a pharmaceutical company formed in April 2004 to exploit its founders’ proven expertise in the areas of drug and target-discovery and the commercialisation of novel technology. Its primary focus is oncology. Currently, greater than 300,000 patients in UK are admitted for diagnostic invasive cystoscopy for bladder cancer annually. The cost per procedure is relatively high and the approximate annual cost to the NHS for this testing is £80 million. Cystoscopy is invasive, uncomfortable for patients and they must attend hospital to be tested.

Morvus Technology Ltd. and Cardiff University’s Medical School have developed new technology which will enable non-invasive, in vitro testing for urogenital cancers such as bladder cancer. A positive test emits light and is easily distinguishable from a negative sample. The new test only requires a urine sample from the patient and so, if configured as a Point of Care (POC) test, could be carried out either in a hospital laboratory or GP clinic. Availability of a POC test would significantly reduce the annual costs of bladder cancer testing to the NHS and be non-invasive for patients.


ASTUTE worked with Morvus Technology Ltd. & Cardiff University’s Medical School to:

  • Produce a format of the urogenital cancer test suitable for Point of Care use.
  • Produce a User Requirements Specification for an electronic instrument to measure the results of the test.
  • Design, construct and test a proof of concept electronic instrument to measure the results of urogenital cancer POC tests.


A new POC test for the detection of bladder cancer was produced.

  • A User Requirements Specification for the proof of concept electronic instrument was completed.
  • A proof of concept electronic instrument to measure the results of the new test was designed, constructed and tested.

POC clinical diagnostic tests have the potential to reduce NHS costs and be locally available for patients. They also provide the general practitioner with real time test results which has the potential to improve the monitoring and treatment of chronic conditions. The POC test is currently being further developed with a view to testing with clinical samples.

“ASTUTE has enabled us to move the concept of using a cancer cell selective enzyme, to generate a fluorescent product, from the laboratory into a prototype product for the point of care detection of bladder cancer. This has proven to be an excellent and productive collaboration that certainly accelerated product development.”

- Prof Richard Knox, Research and Development Director

Due to focus on Smart Specialisation, some of the expertise areas in the case studies might not be covered in the current ASTUTE 2020.