№ 70/2010 from Mar 24, 2010
The Humedics company, a spin-off of Freie Universität and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the joint medical school of Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität, is being supported by High-Tech Gründerfonds with ca. 500,000 euros. The money will be invested in the commercialization of an innovative method of testing that can be used to determine patients’ liver function directly at the bedside. The company aims to begin both the development of production and the approval procedure. Humedics has also received funding from Profund – the start-up support of Freie Universität.
With the so-called LiMAx-Test, developed at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin by PD Dr. Martin Stockmann and refined into a measurement system by Prof. Dr. Karsten Heyne of Freie Universität Berlin, it is possible to test liver enzyme function. For the test the patient is administered a specially developed substance that is processed in the liver. The decomposition product in the exhaled air is then measured using an innovative, newly developed device (FLIP).
“The accuracy of the reading enables therapies to be better adapted to the individual patient,” explains PD Dr. Martin Stockmann from the Department of Visceral, Vascular, and Thoracic Surgery at Campus Virchow Hospital. Up to now the diagnosis of liver diseases has caused problems in clinical practice because liver readings from blood only indicate a change, but do not measure liver function accurately. It could happen, for example, that laboratory readings were normal despite the onset of liver cirrhosis. The new test also detects these first symptoms. With the new non-invasive FLIP/ LiMAx system, it is possible to improve the planning of surgical intervention involving the liver, to predict postoperative liver failure, to detect liver cirrhosis, and to monitor liver regeneration. The system can be applied in liver surgery including liver transplantation, the entire field of hepatology, and intensive care.
Dr. Bernd Goergen, Senior Investment Manager of the High-Tech Gründerfonds, said that the FLIP/LiMAx system, already successfully tested on several thousand patients, will by providing fast and early analysis of liver performance make a major contribution in being able to monitor successful treatment more accurately and will thus have a substantial influence on the therapy algorithm. In addition, the team has already demonstrated its ability not only to develop innovative technologies, but also to convince customers.