Brisbane-based medical technology company Microbio has stepped up its plans for global expansion following the development of a rapid test for sepsis - a condition that kills around 11 million people every year.
Microbio has announced an alteration to its corporate structure to become a public company, a move that has coincided with an unspecified capital raising to boost commercialisation of its InfectID-BSI test which recently received CE Mark of approval for distribution in Europe.
InfectID is a diagnostic tool that can rapidly detect bacterial, fungal, and viral infection in patients. The test targets the pathogen’s DNA ‘fingerprint’ rather than the whole genome, which delivers a highly sensitive, inexpensive analysis of pathogens that may exist in blood samples.
“We received a CE Mark for the InfectID-BSI test after clinical evaluation trials and we are looking forward to being in market with our tests later this year,” says Microbio’s chief scientific officer and co-founder Dr Flavia Huygens.
She says the company is now working to position Microbio for its next stage of growth, which includes progressing the domestic and international manufacturing of the test.
While Microbio has not revealed the sum it has raised in its latest round, the company says it received a strong show of support from both existing and new investors. The capital raise is expected to close early this financial year.
CEO and co-founder Paul Carboon says this investor support has been critical for the company as it edges closer to delivering the InfectID-BSI test to clinicians across the globe.
“In addition to welcoming a number of significant new investors, our existing investors have also reaffirmed their belief in how Microbio is progressing and have topped up their investment in the company,” he says.
The BMC Journal, a peer-reviewed publication, reveals that sepsis, an infection of the blood that can cause life-threatening damage to bodily organs, is a major contributor to the global burden of disease with most of the cases occurring in poorer nations. It also reveals that identifying infections is among the biggest problems facing the medical profession.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there were 48.9 million sepsis cases globally in 2017, leading to 11 million sepsis-related deaths. That compares with WHO figures showing there were nearly 10 million deaths from cancer in 2020.
Carboon says with European approvals in place, Microbio is progressing plans to enter new markets for InfectID to advance the detection of bloodstream infection and sepsis.
“Europe is an important market for us and now that we have completed internationally recognised clinical trials, we expect new markets to come online as appropriate approvals are achieved,” he says.
Microbio is currently seeking accreditation for the test in Australia, the US and India.
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