Irish start-up Inform Bioscience signs licence agreement with Mayo Clinic

29 Jul 2014

(Left to right) Dr Keith O'Neill, Enterprise Ireland; Dr Christine Loscher, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute; Charles Garvey, Inform Bioscience; and Dr Vesna Garovic, Mayo Clinic, at the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute in Dublin. Photo by Robbie Reynolds

Irish biotech start-up Inform Bioscience has signed a licence agreement with the Mayo Clinic in the US to acquire biomarkers for developing a prognostic test to detect pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.

Prognostic tests provide advance warnings of an illness or condition. There are currently no such tests to detect pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal condition for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

In the most severe cases, pre-eclampsia can progress to eclampsia, which often results in seizure, stroke, coma and death. The condition is diagnosed by symptoms that are non-specific to pre-eclampsia and often exhibit only when the condition is already full blown.

Now, the Inform Bioscience team based in Cork plans to develop a simple urine test, employing biomarker technology developed by Mayo Clinic nephrologist Dr Vesna Garovic. The test has the potential to revolutionise prenatal care programmes globally.

Speaking of the licence agreement, Charles Garvey, CEO of Inform Bioscience said, “Inform Bioscience is bridging the gap between the discovery of quality technology and its commercialisation.

“Today is a key milestone in the development of Inform Bioscience and demonstrates our capacity to work with and integrate the work of world-class research institutions, such as Mayo Clinic and the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI) at Dublin City University, to bring innovative new technologies to market.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic