Irish start-up in deal with Mayo Clinic

29th July 2014

Irish biotech startup, Inform Bioscience, has signed a license agreement with the world renowned Mayo Clinic in the US that will help save the lives of pregnant women and their babies.

The Mayo Clinic will licence a portfolio of biomarkers for use in developing a prognostic test to detect preeclampsia in pregnancy.

Prognostic tests provide advance indications of an illness or condition, and currently there are no such tests available to detect preeclampsia, a potentially fatal condition affecting pregnant women and their babies.

Presently, the disease is diagnosed by symptoms that are non-specific to preeclampsia and often exhibit when the condition is already full blown.

helping to save lives

Discovered through pioneering research conducted by Vesna Garovic, M.D., a Mayo Clinic nephrologist, the biomarkers licensed by Inform Bioscience have the potential to detect preeclampsia much earlier than current methods. Inform Bioscience plans to develop a simple urine test, employing the biomarker technology, which has the potential to revolutionise prenatal care programmes globally.

“Our goal at Inform Bioscience is to develop non-invasive tests targeting unmet medical needs so that physicians can provide more personalised patient care. This license will allow Inform Bioscience to determine if a patient has preeclampsia from week 26 in pregnancy. We are very excited to have executed this licence and to be working towards ensuring better outcomes for mothers and babies globally,” said Charles Garvey, CEO, Inform Bioscience.

“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. We look forward to working closely with the BDI through an Enterprise Ireland supported Innovation Partnership to advance the work of Dr. Garovic into commercialisation,” added Mr. Garvey.

Enterprise Ireland and Mayo Clinic recently formalised a collaboration which will see the commercialisation of up to 20 novel medical technologies in Ireland over the next 5 years, creating high value medical technology spin-out companies. “This latest licensing of technology by Inform Bioscience is in addition to this agreement, and shows the potential for Irish companies to develop commercialisation strategies as a result of these exciting innovations,” said Dr.Keith O’Neill, Director of LifeSciences Commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland. “The Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU is excited by this opportunity to work with Mayo Clinic and Inform Bioscience. We strongly commend the initiative of Enterprise Ireland in facilitating and supporting this endeavour through its strategic collaboration with Mayo Clinic and look forward to working together to deliver this important new diagnostic test,” said Mr. Joseph McManus, Director BDI. Inform Bioscience has secured seed round funding from AIB Seed Capital.

The company is a subsidiary of Metabolomic Diagnostics, which is an innovative medical diagnostics company involved in the development of a breakthrough technology to provide early pregnancy risk stratification testing for preeclampsia. The technology being licensed by Inform Bioscience is very complementary to this technology.