Life Sciences and Energy

Irish biosciences startup attracts €750,000 investment

By Business & Finance
02 January 2014
Metabolomic Diagnostic

Irish biosciences startup Metabolomic Diagnostics, has secured €750,000 in venture funding through a syndicate of investors including SOSventures Ireland Fund, AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland.

Metabolomic Diagnostic’s innovative solution has the potential to revolutionise pre-natal care with its breakthrough blood test ‘PrePsia’ for early detection of women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy.

“There is currently no predictive early screening test for pre-eclampsia, which can be a fatal condition. Our PrePsia solution could potentially become a standard part of prenatal care globally. We are delighted to be working with lead investor, SOSventures Ireland Fund along with the AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland,” said founder and CEO Charles Garvey.

Each year more than 75,000 women die as a direct result of pre-eclampsia. While the condition begins in early pregnancy, it does not typically manifest until the second half of the pregnancy. Characterised by rapid high blood pressure and elevated protein in urine and once it escalates, the only treatment option is the delivery of the baby, often prematurely.  The PrePsia blood test, which is the result of significant research into metabolomic biomarkers, will be able to detect the risk of pre-eclampsia early on in the pregnancy, and ultimately save the lives of women and their babies through personalised medical interventions.

“We are delighted to be backing Metabolomic diagnostics as they have a great team and a real shot at significant and speedy commercial success. Their product has a real chance of saving the lives of mothers and their babies which is pretty cool.” said Bill Liao, European venture partner, SOSventures International.

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD welcomed the investment stating “This is an important investment, given the potential significance of this metabolomic diagnostic test, the results of which include saving lives. I look forward to following the results of this innovative technology in the future.”

Metabolomic Diagnostics is currently engaged in a study called IMPROvED which has received  €6mn in European FP7 funding.  IMPROvED will see the recruitment of 5,000 pregnant women from all over Europe, who are providing blood specimens to be used in validating the company’s technology. This will further advance the research and development in the area and enable Metabolomic Diagnostics to bring its technology to market faster.

The company has been privately funded to date, following the licensing of the technology from University College Cork. CEO Charles Garvey is a serial entrepreneur, who has led a significant number of technology startups to successful exits at home and internationally, including Horizon Technology Group, which floated on the London and Dublin stock markets at a valuation of £90 million, and was subsequently acquired by Avnet.