The reason we are hearing so much about sexism in Silicon Valley right now is because a major process of change is already under way, Dublin’s Start-up Commissioner Niamh Bushnell believes.
Dublin: 05.03.2015 06.45PM
Pictured: Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock TD; SOSventures partner Bill Liao; Charles Garvey Matabolomic Diagnostic; and Frank Walsh, AIB Seed Fund
Biosciences startup Metabolomic Diagnostic 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,” said founder and CEO Charles Garvey.
“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,” Garvey added.
The company’s technology takes the form of a blood test that once the blood is spun and separated into plasma and run through a Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectometry machine uses an algorithm to detect patterns that represent a high likelihood of a pregnant woman developing 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, once it escalates the only treatment option is the delivery of the baby, often prematurely.
The PrePsia blood test, which is the result of 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,” said Bill Liao, European venture partner, SOSventures International.
“Their product has a real chance of saving the lives of mothers and their babies, which is pretty cool,” Liao added.
Metabolomic Diagnostics is engaged in a study called IMPROvED, which has received €6m 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.
Garvey is a serial entrepreneur, who has led a number of technology start-ups to successful exits at home and internationally, including Horizon Technology Group, which floated on the London and Dublin stock markets at a valuation of stg£90m, and was subsequently acquired by Avnet.
Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean 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.”
Disclosure - SOSventures is an investor in Silicon Republic