Humedics receives Innovation Award Berlin Brandenburg
Award for LiMAx breath test for liver diagnostics
In an award ceremony on December 5, 2014, Erwin de Buijzer, CEO of Humedics GmbH, and Prof. Karsten Heyne, co-founder of the company, together received the award from Albrecht Gerber, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of the federal state of Brandenburg, and Guido Beermann, Permanent Secretary in Berlin’s Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research. The prize, endowed with 10,000 Euro was awarded for the „personalized liver check by a breath test“. The jury pointed out that in the clinical practice the LiMAx test leads to optimal surgery planning and therapy of patients. In the Charité hospital the system has reduced mortality rates after liver surgery more than 60% and can be used for any kind of liver diseases. Humedics and four other prize winners were awarded with the prize out of 122 applicants in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Erwin de Buijzer stated: “We are very pleased to receive this prestigious prize and feel honored that we have been chosen out of so many innovative applicants in Berlin-Brandenburg. It is a fantastic sign of recognition for the founders. At the same time the award encourages us to accelerate preparations for the market entry of our LiMAx test – for the benefit of physicians and patients.” The LiMAx test is a result of cooperation between PD Dr. Martin Stockmann from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin at the Campus Virchow Hospital, Dept. of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, and physicist Prof. Karsten Heyne from the Freie Universität Berlin. This breath test based diagnostic system represents a revolution in functional liver diagnostics by enabling clinicians to quantitatively determine the individual liver function capacity for a patient within minutes. It allows for better risk assessment in liver surgery and thus, superior surgery planning as well as selecting treatment strategies optimally adapted to the individual patients liver status. The LiMAx test provides certainty for the physician, safety for the patient and leads to cost reduction for the hospital.
Just recently, Humedics had announced the closing of a financing round with a consortium of international investors. The raised capital provides the financial basis to prepare the European market entry of Humedics’ proprietary LiMAx test and the corresponding FLIP diagnostic device.
About the Innovation Award Berlin Brandenburg
The Innovationspreis Berlin Brandenburg (Innovation Award Berlin Brandenburg) has been jointly awarded by the German Federal States of Berlin and Brandenburg since 1992. Until now (since 1984), more than 3,500 applications have been submitted and 128 prize winners have been awarded. Annually, up to five awardees are honored for product and process innovations and innovative technology services. Awards are endowed with a prize money of 10,000 Euro. In 2014, a jury of 18 experts chaired by Professor Dr. h. c. Dr.-Ing. Eckart Uhlmann, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK in Berlin and of the Institute for Machine Tools and Factory Management (IWF) of the TU Berlin, nominated the finalists and prize winners. www.innovationspreis-bb.de
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.
Erwin de Buijzer MD MBA
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