Humedics successfully closed its first VC-financing round with Charité Biomedical Fund, VC Fonds Technologie , KfW, HTGF and Ventegis Capital AG
Humedics has developed a breath test (LiMAxTM test) based diagnostic system composed of the medical device FLIPTM and a new intravenous diagnostic drug preparation (13C-Methacetin).
More than 100 million people world-wide suffer from chronic liver diseases (i.e. cirrhosis, hepatitis, fatty liver, metabolic disorders and tumors). Evaluating current liver function correctly remains a major challenge for physicians, given that existing tests cannot directly measure liver function quantitatively.
The LiMAxTM test enables the clinician to quantitatively determine the individual liver function capacity within minutes. This allows for deciding on treatment strategies optimally adapted to the individual patients liver status. Current applications include diagnosis of the liver function before and after liver transplantation as well as planning of liver surgeries (for example: How much liver tissue can be extracted without risking post-operative liver failure) and different diseases of the liver such as liver cirrhosis.
The LiMAxTM test was developed at the Charité, Berlin by Dr. M. Stockmann at the Department of General, Visceral, and Transplantation Surgery of Prof. Neuhaus (Charité – University-Medicine, Berlin) and the FLIPTM device by Prof. K. Heyne (Department of Physics, Ultrafast Spectroscopy on Biologically Relevant Systems) at the Free University Berlin.
Up to date the LiMAxTM test has been validated in more than 1.000 patients involving over 5.000 tests and the results have been published in well recognized journals.
Wilfried Heyne; Managing Director of Humedics comments: “We are delighted to have been able to attract this group of experienced MedTech investors including the Charité Biomedical Fund given that Humedics is a “Spin-Off” from Charité and FU-Berlin. The proceeds of this financing will be used to further develop and finalize the FLIPTM / LiMAxTM test-system.”
Dr. Klaus Stöckemann, Chairman of Humedics’ board and Managing Director at Peppermint VenturePartners (the manager of the Charité Biomedical Fund) adds: “We have been following the technology for the last three years and are very happy to work with Humedics and the other co- investors to develop the company towards “the company for personalized medicine for the liver” and make the LiMAxTM test standard of care in liver diagnostics.”
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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