Irish biotech company, Metabolomic Diagnostics, has secured an additional €1.6 million in venture funding to help complete PrePsia, its new screening test for first time pregnant mothers. This latest funding round is supported by existing investors, SOSventures, Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland as well as with a number of other private investors.

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 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. While the condition begins in early pregnancy, it does not typically manifest until the second half of the pregnancy.

The investment is being used by Metabolomic Diagnostics to commercialise the metabolomic biomarkers technology invented by Prof. Louise Kenny, Director at the INFANT Research Centre. The company’s technology takes the form of a blood test that is ‘spun’ in the laboratory before a unique algorithm is applied to detect patterns that represent a high likelihood of a pregnant woman developing pre-eclampsia.

“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 Charles Garvey, CEO Metabolomic Diagnostics.

The company has also announced that Dr. Jim Walsh has joined their board. Dr. Walsh currently serves as Executive Director of Trinity Biotech (NASDAQ: TRIB) and is Ireland’s leading diagnostics entrepreneur. Over the years Dr. Walsh has been responsible for making several high profile investments in research, medicines, and devices.

Speaking yesterday, Dr. Walsh said “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. The technology being developed by Metabolomic Diagnostics is of enormous global significance and represents a substantial market opportunity to help combat pre-eclampsia.”

The availability of PrePsia has the potential to dramatically improve patient outcomes, by saving lives and reducing the lifelong health complications that survivors live with, as the result of this disease.

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