Metabolomic Diagnostics Develop Blood Test To Predict Risk Of Preeclampsia

Metabolomic Diagnostics Develop Blood Test To Predict Risk Of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy condition marked by high blood pressure and elevated protein in the urine, leading to restricted blood supply to the fetus. Every year, between 70,000 and 80,000 women and in excess of half a million newborns die as a direct result of preeclampsia. While the only treatment, once diagnosed, is the delivery of the baby prematurely, identifying mothers at risk is the first step to effective intervention and prevention. Although there is no cost effective or reliable screening test for preeclampsia, prenatal consultations check for early signs of hypertension and proteinuria. However, the standard intervals between prenatal visits may delay diagnosis, increasing the chance of severe complications.

The Cork, Ireland-based startup Metabolomic Diagnostics is determined to deliver a breakthrough technology to provide predictive diagnosis of preeclampsia in early pregnancy. They develop a blood test, called PrePsia, to be administered 15 weeks into a pregnancy, which can accurately predict the risk the woman have of developing preeclampsia later in their pregnancy. The test measure a combination of metabolites, which along with certain clinical data are fed into a classification algorithm. The algorithm extrapolates the results, allowing clinicians to offer targeted surveillance and medical care to patients who are at higher risk of developing the condition.

The technology is of enormous global significance with an estimated 10 million women develop preeclampsia each year around the world. The majority of deaths are avoidable through timely and effective care, and Metabolomic Diagnostics has developed a revolutionary test that help identify women at risk early in the pregnancy. This could transform the lives of millions around the world, and help save thousands of women and children who every year die of the condition. PrePsia could dramatically improve patient outcomes, and reduce the lifelong health complications that survivors live with. In addition, the cost of prenatal care associated with preeclampsia is over $7 billion in the US alone. Identifying women at risk could significantly lower these costs, while help offer targeted preventative care.

In contrast to other technologies, such as the detection of angiogenic factors, PrePsia works in early pregnancy at a time point when risk stratification would be most beneficial for ongoing management and intervention. In addition, their technology has high sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing between preeclampsia and other maternal disorders. While initial work has focused on preeclampsia, it could also be used to screen for a range of complications of pregnancy, highlighting its wide applicability and huge potential.

Metabolomic Diagnostics has previously won the Enterprise Ireland Life Sciences & Food Commercialisation Award for their development and commercialization of PrePsia, and has been awarded research funding from the European Union. The startup has also secured over $4 million in multiple funding rounds, with investors including SOSventures, Enterprise Equity, AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Ireland, as well as a number of private investors.