Humedics co‐founder Martin Stockmann awarded with Von‐ Langenbeck Prize for the development of the LiMAx test
Award ceremony at the annual conference of the German Society of Surgery
The Von‐Langenbeck Prize is an award for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of surgery. Since 1954, it has been yearly awarded by the German Society of Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie). PD Dr. Martin Stockmann from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin at the Campus Virchow Hospital, Dept. of General, Visceral and Graft Surgery, received the renowned prize for the development and clinical validation of a new technique for determining liver function in surgery – the LiMAx test – and for ten years of research in the field of liver surgery and liver regeneration. The award ceremony took place at the opening day of the 130th Congress of the German Society of Surgery in Munich. Prof. Dr. Karl‐Walter Jauch, president of the society, handed over the prize and congratulated the laureate. Stockmann said: “This prize is a great honor and pleasure for me. It is an award for more than ten years of research in the field of liver surgery and liver regeneration. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage particularly younger colleagues to engage in research. This needs superior efforts, commitment and – as the motto of this congress – passion, but it pays off.”
The award comes in a phase of the final development of the LiMAx test before regulatory product approval. In January, Humedics announced the start of a clinical phase III study. The trial with the short title 'Fast‐track LiveR' is a prospective, randomized, controlled, multi‐centric, phase III study. The main goal of this study is the early identification of low‐risk patients after partial liver resection by the LiMAx test and improvements in patient management based on test results.
Humedics has developed a breath test based in vivo diagnostic system (the LiMAx® test), which comprises a CE-marked medical device, breathing masks and a diagnostic drug. The LiMAx® test enables the clinician to quantitatively determine the individual liver function capacity of a patient within minutes. This allows for selection of treatment strategies and disease monitoring optimally adapted to the individual patients’ liver status. Current clinical applications, studies of which have already been published in highly respected peer-reviewed scientific journals, include diagnosis of the liver function before and after liver transplantation, liver surgery planning (e.g. assessment of the amount of liver to be resected without potentially increasing the risk of acute liver failure) and assessment of diseases such as liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Over 20 trials in new indications such as the diagnosis of chronic liver diseases like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and the improvement of treatment decisions in liver oncology are ongoing. These investigator initiated trials impressively demonstrate the further potential of the LiMAx® test. The LiMAx® test is already being used in over 30 top-tier university clinics across Europe and more than 20,000 tests have already been performed. The LiMAx® test is commercially available in Germany, Austria and the UK.
Based on the specific metabolic action of the liver enzyme CYP1A2, which is expressed in all functioning hepatocytes, performing the LiMAx® test is a simple procedure. The diagnostic drug solution is administered intravenously, and the liver immediately starts to metabolize the drug into low dose paracetamol and 13CO2 (non-radioactive). The latter is exhaled in the breath, collected via a respiratory mask and guided to the LiMAx® system where, within 1-2 minutes following the injection, the LiMAx® IR laser spectroscopy system allows real-time and very precise quantification of the increase in 13CO2 content. The resulting LiMAx® value, measured in micrograms per kilo body weight per hour, is a reliable and repeatable measure of the maximum functional capacity of the liver.
Dr. Ralf Kohnen
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