Metabolomic Diagnostics secures further €750,000 for pre-eclampsia tests

11 Feb 2015

Frank Walsh, partner, Enterprise Equity and manager of the AIB Seed Capital Fund; Kate Hyland, regulatory scientist, Metabolomic Diagnostics; and Charles Garvey, CEO, Metabolomic Diagnostics. Photo by Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Metabolomic Diagnostics, a Cork start-up developing tests for the early detection of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, has doubled its total investment to date with a second round of €750,000 in venture funding.

According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, this condition affects about 5pc to 8pc of pregnancies worldwide and, if undetected, can lead to eclampsia, which involves life-threatening seizures.

Though characterised by high blood pressure and large amounts of protein in the urine, little is understood about how this condition develops and there is, as yet, no definitive predictive test available.

Based in Little Island, Co Cork, Metabolomic Diagnostics hopes its technology, PrePsia, could provide predictive diagnostic tests for the early detection of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

The diagnostics company secured €750,000 in funding from SOSventures, Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Seed Capital Fund in January last year and this syndicate of investors has committed a further €750,000 in second-round funding, bringing the total investment in the company to €1.5m.

“The second round of funding shows the sustained confidence in our pre-eclampsia tests, which are being developed at our site in Little Island in Cork,” said CEO Charles Garvey.

“With almost 80,000 deaths each year globally as a result of pre-eclampsia, this technology has the potential to save lives and revolutionise pre-natal care.”

Metabolomics involves studying the chemical processes of small molecules involved in metabolism and PrePsia, a diagnostic blood test, is the result of significant research into metabolomic biomarkers.

Metabolomic Diagnostics now employs seven people and is engaged in the European FP7-funded study, IMPROvED, which has so far recruited 500 pregnant women in Cork to provide blood specimens to be used in validating the company’s technology.

Disclosure: SOSventures is an investor in Silicon Republic

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic