Diagnostics company sphingotec GmbH successfully closed a €20m growth equity financing round led by international specialist investors HBM Healthcare Investments, HBM BioCapital II LP (HBM) and Wellington Partners.
Sphingotec announced it will primarily use the proceeds to roll out the fully automated IB 10 point-of-care (POC) platform for testing of a broad panel of acute blood biomarkers, which had been acquired in May 2018 through an acquisition of Samsung-subsidiary Nexus Dx Inc. Already more than 1,000 intensive care units (ICUs), emergency departments, smaller hospitals and larger practices in Europe and the Middle East are using the platform on a regular basis with more than 100,000 tests performed per year.
Sphingotec will also make its acute blood biomarkers bio-ADM® and penKid® available on this POC platform to ICUs and emergency departments. bio-ADM® is a marker of endothelial integrity that indicates when blood vessels become leaky. In clinical tests on patients with congestion in heart failure, bio-ADM was the only biomarker capable to predict residual congestion of patients with acute heart failure (AHF), who did not respond sufficiently to loop diuretics. . Residual, diuretic-resistant congestion is the major reason for re-hospitalization and post-discharge mortality in AHF. Automatic bio-ADM POC testing thus solves an unmet medical need, that causes high cost for healthcare systems. Furthermore, bio-ADM is a first in class-biomarker predicting circulatory shock in sepsis patients – another condition with unmet medical need.
penKid® is a first in class blood-based biomarker capable to timely monitor acute kidney function in high-risk patients by giving direct information on the true Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), the gold standard to assess kidney function. penKid has been clinically shown to diagnose and monitor acute kidney injury (AKI) in earliest stages of congestion in acute heart failure.
A biomarker-assisted diuretics therapy in patients with congestive heart failure/cardio-renal syndrome, by simultaneous measurement of bio-ADM and penKid, targets lower re-hospitalization and mortality rates. Congestive heart failure affects 26 million patients globally and costs healthcare systems $24bn annually. Each year, 8 million people die from sepsis, 700,000 by acute kidney injury (AKI).
As part of the financing, Dr. Matthias Fehr, Investment Advisor at HBM Partners and Dr. Rainer Strohmenger, Managing Partner at Wellington Partners, Dr. Ute Kilger, Partner at Boehmert & Boehmert, Dr. Method Miklus, former COO of B.R.A.H.M.S and Dr. Gerald Möller, former CEO of Boehringer Mannheim will join the Board of sphingotec.
“We are delighted to have gained the support from HBM and Wellington Partners, which enables us to bring our innovative biomarkers much faster to ICUs and emergency departments, where they can support decision-making in diagnostically underserved conditions such as septic shock, acute heart failure and acute kidney injury,” said Dr. Andreas Bergmann, CEO and founder of sphingotec GmbH. “Starting in Central Europe, a growing distributor network will allow the timely introduction of a complete solution for the hospital acute point of care market in AKI, AHF and sepsis diagnosis and monitoring.”
“Sphingotec’s acute biomarker tests target a global multibillion Euro market opportunity in a field of high unmet medical need. We are convinced that the company’s biomarker portfolio has the potential to significantly improve decision making in acute settings,” commented Dr. Matthias Fehr, Investment Advisor at HBM Partners.
Dr. Rainer Strohmenger, Managing Partner at Wellington Partners, commented: “The addition of sphingotec’s functional blood biomarkers, whose clinical utility have already been proven on tens of thousands of patients, to the market-validated IB10 POC testing immunoassay platform closes a major current gap in diagnostic testing in critical care. The company’s biomarker tests are designed to allow timely monitoring of endothelial and kidney function as well as the effects of therapeutic interventions, which is crucial for physicians at ICUs and emergency departments.”