Cork-based Metabolomic Diagnostics raises $2 million in funding

Biotech company will use funding to help complete screening test for pre-eclampsia

Irish biotech company Metabolomic Diagnostics has secured an additional $2 million in venture funding to help complete its new screening test for first time pregnant mothers.

The PrePsia blood test 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.

Affecting almost 7.5 million pregnancies per year, pre-eclampsia is the single greatest cause of premature births and is still responsible for the deaths of more than 75,000 mothers and half a million babies during pregnancy.

The funding will also be used by Metabolomic Diagnostics to commercialise the metabolomic biomarkers technology invented by Prof Louise Kenny, director at the INFANT Research Centre.

"Securing this new funding will allow Metabolomic Diagnostics to complete PrePsia in our laboratory and assign CE Marking to bring the company to first revenues in 2017," said Metabolic Diagnostics chief executive Charles Garvey.

The investment came from existing investors, SOSventures, Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland as well as with a number of other private investors.

The company has also announced that Dr Jim Walsh has joined the board. Dr Walsh currently serves as executive director of Trinity Biotech. Previously he was executive chairman of GenCell Biosystems, a genomics platform company, acquired by Becton Dickenson in October 2014. Until 2010 Dr Walsh was chief executive of Stokes Bio, a company specialising in the area of Molecular Diagnostics, acquired by Life Technologies.

Dr Walsh said the technology being developed by Metabolomic Diagnostics is of enormous global significance and represents a substantial market opportunity to help combat pre-eclampsia.

“In the modern world, there is no excuse for having a medical complication that can result in the deaths of otherwise healthy mothers and their unborn babies.”