Innovation & Business Idea
Metaron Diagnostics identified biomarker signatures for two unmet diagnostic needs in nephrology and gynaecology. In clinical pilot studies, the assays showed unprecedented diagnostic performance and a huge potential to change clinical workflows and save health care costs.
Metaron will develop the new tests as consumable-based kit products, conduct a prospective clinical validation, register the kits as IVD medical devices, and sell them through a local sales force (in D/A/CH) and an international network of distributors.
Customers / Target Market
The targeted users are the core labs of large hospitals and commercial labs offering diagnostic services to smaller hospitals, nephrologists, gynaecologists, and GPs. In the clinical setting, reimbursement will be part of the case-based lump compensation; for GPs and resident specialists, separate accounting items may have to be negotiated with the national health care systems.
For both indications, the existing tests have serious shortcomings regarding diagnostic performance or practicability/burden on the patient. The new assays bring a significant improvement over the state-of-the-art; in particular, multiparametric signatures are more sensitive, specific, and robust against confounders. Several competing developments are actively monitored but, so far, they either show inferior performance or are impractical as routine tools.
Intellectual Property Status
The team owns a patent family covering the kidney biomarkers that is already granted in the EU (validated in D, F, IT, ES, UK, DK, SE, CH), Canada, and Israel. Further expansion is planned when initial financing is secured. A PCT application covering the endometriosis panel is under preparation. Once the kit prototypes are mature enough, additional applications will be filed protecting their technical make-up. A preliminary FtO analysis was conducted with positive outcome.
Development Status & Future Steps
Metaron is currently in a pre-seed stage; the founders signed a MoU that governs the responsibilities of the team, shares, decision making, and the initial corporate development strategy. They recently won a Helmholtz Enterprise and a GoBio Initial Grant worth € 230,000.- of funding plus access to a top-notch metabolomics facility at the Helmholtz Center Munich. Next steps are the design of a clinical validation study, an in-depth FtO analysis, and a seed financing round.
Metaron has a scalable business model and could become a profitable manufacturer of clinical metabolomics kits. An IPO or a trade-sale would then be preferred exits for investors. Alternative scenarios such as out-licensing the biomarker content will be constantly explored and evaluated.
Klaus Weinberger (CEO) is a serial entrepreneur in metabolomics, data analytics, diagnostics and vaccine development. Klaus developed one of the first diagnostically used qPCR assays, the first four generations of metabolomics kits, and obtained the European licensure for a new vaccine. Klaus is an inventor and the sole owner of the kidney-related IP.
Jerzy Adamski (CSO/CTO), Head of the Genome Analysis Center/Director of the Research Unit Molecular Endocrinology at the Helmholtz Center Munich, is a world-leading expert in metabolomics (c. 400 publications) and the Editor-in-chief of the J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Jerzy is an inventor of the endometriosis-related IP.
The final development, clinical validation and IVD registration of the first kit (living donor selection for kidney transplantation) will require an investment of ca. € 3.5 M.
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