January 19th, 2016

Immunovia and the University of Liverpool enter into a collaboration in a prospective clinical study

The NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit in Liverpool is a leading global translational research unit dedicated to the management of pancreatic digestive diseases, such as acute and chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The institute is the only NIHR funded specialist unit to research into pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in the UK. The Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit in Liverpool will contribute together with the other sites to the development of the prospective study clinical protocol. This will involve obtaining the required approvals to recruit study subjects and following them up over a period of three years, delivering the blood samples for analysis and disseminating the results to clinicians and patients.

“We are very pleased to enter into collaboration with Liverpool Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit for the prospective validation of IMMray™ PanCan-d in Europe. This leading UK centre will play a crucial role by contributing a wealth of knowledge and providing access to the largest registry in Europe of individuals with a genetic predisposition for pancreatic cancer: The European Registry of Hereditary Pancreatitis and Familial Pancreatic Cancer (EUROPAC). We anticipate that upon achieving successful results we will be able to proceed with regulatory and reimbursement applications worldwide to establish our test for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer as a standard amongst pancreatologists for detecting pancreatic cancer in high-risk groups much earlier than possible today, thereby saving patient lives”, said Mats Grahn, CEO, Immunovia.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer is improving and it could change from being a death sentence if it can be picked up early enough. Yet 80% of the patients are beyond treatment with curative intent by the time they are diagnosed. Immunovia has developed a system for early diagnosis, which needs to be further validated in a prospective study. The NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit in Liverpool co-ordinates Europe’s biggest registry of individuals at high risk of pancreatic cancer and this collaboration will enable us to take a potentially lifesaving test into the clinic”, said Dr. Bill Greenhalf, Operational Director of Liverpool Good Clinical Laboratory Practice Facility and Lead Scientist of EUROPAC.

Immunovia´s test has the potential to bring us one step closer to our vision in Liverpool University of reducing patient mortality and morbidity due to digestive diseases of the pancreas through development of new treatments and diagnostic strategies” said Dr Eithne Costello who will be the other academic lead for this collaboration.

In addition to the collaboration agreement signed with the University of Liverpool, UK, for the prospective validation of IMMray™ PanCan-d, Immunovia announced a partnership in October with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, USA (see announcement here). The third prospective study site will be announced within short.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Eithne Costello
NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit, Liverpool, UK
Tel.: +44 151 706 4178

Dr. Bill Greenhalf
NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit, Liverpool, UK
Tel.: +44 151 706 4184

Mats Grahn

Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Immunovia

Tel.: +46-70-5320230


About Immunovia

Immunovia AB was founded in 2007 by investigators from the Department of Immunotechnology at Lund University and CREATE Health, the Center for Translational Cancer Research in Lund, Sweden. Immunovia’s strategy is to decipher the wealth of information in blood and translate it into clinically useful tools to diagnose complex diseases such as cancer, earlier and more accurately than previously possible. Immunovia´s core technology platform, IMMray™, is based on antibody biomarker microarray analysis. The company is now performing clinical validation studies for the commercialization of IMMray™ PanCan-d that could be the first blood based test for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. (Source:

Immunovia’s shares (IMMNOV) are listed on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm and Wildeco is the company’s Certified Adviser. For more information, please visit

About NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit, Liverpool, UK

NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit is built around the world class excellence of pancreatic research in Liverpool, and has a range of collaborations with other leading European research institutions. The unit also works with companies to develop and validate a broad range of health care products including new therapeutics and diagnostic methodologies, and has started research forums with the aim of developing new mutually beneficial collaborations. NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit has broad access to clinical and scientific state-of-art research facilities and has developed an ambitious ground breaking research programme, focused on six themes:

  • Drug discovery and development of new interventions
  • Application of new diagnostic and imaging strategies
  • Validation of new biomarkers and screening protocols
  • Early Phase Trials
  • Collaborative Technology Platforms
  • Industrial Partnerships  

About Pancreatic Cancer                                                                                                                                                                  Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most deadly and difficult to detect cancers, as the signs and symptoms are diffuse and similar to other diseases. There are more than 40,000 deaths and over 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone, and the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is currently 4-6%. It is predicted to become the second leading cause of cancer death by 2020. However, because resection is more successful in stage I/II, can significantly improve pancreatic cancer patients’ 5-year survival rates from 4-6% to potentially 50-60%.


Dr Greenhalf has been lead scientist of the European Registry of Hereditary Pancreatitis and Familial Pancreatitis (EUROPAC) since 1997.
Dr Greenhalf sits on various trial steering committee. Including the 
EUROPAC2 trial (anti-oxidants and magnesium for the treatment of pancreatitis). The Vandetanib in Pancreatic Cancer (VIP) Trial and The European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC, trials of adjuvant therapy in pancreatic cancer) Tissue group. He also sits on the Cancer Research UK Quality Assurance and Translational Science (QATS) Steering Committee and the Confederation of UK Biobanks UK Working Group for Harmonisation, Standardisation and Benchmarking of Biobanks. Dr Greenhalf is part of the NIHR Pancreatic Biomedical Research Unit (PBRU) and is the Operational Director of the Liverpool GCLP facility

Dr Eithne Costello After gaining a B.Sc. (Hons) in Pharmacology, at University College Dublin, Eithne undertook a cancer-based molecular biology PhD, at University College Dublin, spending one-year of her is Ph.D. research time at the University of Berne, Switzerland. She remained in Switzerland for a further six years where she was a postdoctoral fellow, firstly at the Swiss Institute for Cancer Research (ISREC), Lausanne and subsequently at the Institute of Microbiology, University of Lausanne.
She is on the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (
ESPAC, trials of adjuvant therapy in pancreatic cancer) Tissue group,  a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Molecular Biomarkers Advisory Group,  biomarker lead for the NIHR Liverpool Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit (PBRU), and is a  co-leader of a workgroup of the COST Action BM1204 EU_Pancreas.

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