Queensland biotechnology scale-up Microbio has raised $3.5 million to roll out its rapid tests for bloodstream infections in international markets.
Paul Carbone, CEO of Microbio, said existing and new investors, including Gardasil’s eminent scientist and co-inventor, Professor Ian Frazer, have shown strong support for the biotech as it receives regulatory approval in multiple countries.
The Microbio test has been approved for use in Europe and the UK, with regulatory authorities also expected to sign off on the test in India and South America by the end of 2022. TGA approval in Australia is expected in early mid-2023.
Carbon said the new funds will also help facilitate market access to those countries, and next year the company will look to raise an additional $10 million as it ramps up production and distribution.
“In addition to welcoming several important new investors, our existing investors also reaffirmed their belief in Microbio’s progress and complemented their investment in the company,” he said.
“We have received strong support from investors, including CJ3 Capital, many of whom may want to take an even larger stake in the company, and we will take their interest into account when considering a future capital raise.”
Bloodstream infections and sepsis result in 11 million deaths annually, and the problem Mircobio is addressing is the time it takes for a diagnosis when treatment is time-critical and survival rates drop rapidly within hours
The current ‘gold standard’ method is a two-step blood culture and identification process that can take anywhere from 12 hours to seven days. Microbio’s InfectID-BSI is an in vitro diagnostic test that significantly improves patient outcomes by telling clinicians which infection to treat within three hours of taking a blood sample.
“InfectID-BSI offers the potential for early bloodstream infection and sepsis diagnosis and thus earlier use of optimal antimicrobial agents, which is likely to reduce length of hospital stay and health care costs,” said Carbonoon.
“We are excited that commercialization is now on the horizon and that we are one step closer to bringing this powerful diagnostic tool to clinicians around the world.”
The CEO said Microbio’s next round of investment will focus on gaining regulatory approval, further entering national markets including the US, expanding international sales and distribution partnerships and onshore manufacturing processes here in Australia.