Metabolomic snapshot - one drop is enough
cetics healthcare technologies develops innovative diagnostics platform
Anyone looking to get a thorough check-up at the doctor's normally has to give quite a lot of blood. Several test tubes are filled from a vein and sent to a laboratory and the patient receives the results a few days later. With cetics healthcare technologies, this type of diagnosis will soon be a thing of the past. The newly founded company, based at the Life Science Center Esslingen, is developing an innovative diagnostic method that can provide the most important blood values within just a few minutes from a single drop of blood. The patented measuring cell also identifies the characteristic spectroscopic patterns of diseases such as Alzheimer's and osteoarthritis. If the relevant patterns are known, the doctor can gain information on a number of a patient's existing medical conditions from just one single measurement. "Our device provides, as it were, a snapshot of the metabolome and thus of the characteristic metabolic state of an organism," explains Dr. Martin Winter, one of the founders of the new company and responsible for business development.
The idea for the new diagnostic method and cetics healthcare technologies comes from a partnership between several entrepreneurs from the STERN BioRegion. Dr. Jürgen Bernhard from BioTeSys GmbH, Andreas Wolf and Ralf Masuch from micro-biolytics GmbH and Wolfgang Hock and Dr. Martin Winter jointly founded the company in spring 2011. "We bring together cell-based assays from BioTeSys - where the genotoxic effect of chemical substances is tested, for example - and AquaSpec technology from micro-biolytics, which digitally maps the chemical and molecular-biological profile of a sample in its entirety, onto a single, handy platform. The information yielded from biological samples is therefore increased several times over," says Dr. Winter, explaining the idea. Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, is also impressed: "The founders of cetics healthcare technologies are pooling expertise from cell biology and laboratory automation. This is precisely the approach of our 'Engineering - Life Sciences - Automation' cluster initiative, or ELSA for short."
But it is not just the combination of two patented technologies that makes the new platform unique. It will also be available to researchers to identify new disease patterns. "It is designed to work like an app store," explains Dr. Winter. However, instead of small helpful application programs, the characteristic patterns of various hereditary conditions are stored on the new platform. "You can upload an 'app' - the Alzheimer's pattern, for instance - and make it available to the research community for a fee." The more apps/patterns stored in the relevant cetics diagnostic systems at doctors or at laboratories, the more medical conditions that can be identified with a single drop of blood. A regular "update" is therefore advisable. "This particularly benefits patients with rare conditions. We offer them a direct and rapid link between research and the hospital, meaning that costly individual tests do not need to be developed," says Dr. Winter.
cetics healthcare technologies was founded in April 2011 by Dr. Jürgen Bernhard of BioTeSys GmbH based in Esslingen, Andreas Wolf and Ralf Masuch from micro-biolytics GmbH, also located in Esslingen, and Wolfgang Hock and Dr. Martin Winter. The company, headquartered at the Life Science Center Esslingen, links the patented technologies from micro-biolytics (AquaSpec MIR spectroscopy) and BioTeSys (cell-based assays).
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
For ten years, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH has been a skill-sharing network in the cities of Stuttgart, Tübingen, Esslingen, and Reutlingen and the Neckar-Alb and Stuttgart regions in the Baden-Württemberg area of Germany, providing a source of help and advice for founders of new businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers from the biotechnology sector. BioRegio STERN Management GmbH represents their interests in dealings with politicians, the media and associations. It offers business promotion and marketing services and provides advice on grant applications and corporate financing. Regenerative medicine, medical technology and the automation of biotechnology are key focal points. The Managing Director, Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, is a molecular and cell biolo-gist and investment analyst.