IVDT_In Vitro Diagnostics Technology

IVD Technology, Spring 2013

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IN PERSON Emerging Irish IVD Company Tackles Meningitis HiberGene CEO Tony Hill talks with IVD Technology about raising funds, sourcing an instrument platform, and taking its meningitis test to market. Using a novel rapid amplifcation platform, HiberGene (Dublin) has developed a rapid and highly sensitive diagnostic test for bacterial meningitis. Te test requires minimal laboratory instrumentation and, therefore, is applicable to just about any clinical or laboratory setting. Using the same platform, the company intends to develop a range of tests for a number of infectious human diseases, including healthcare-associated infections and sexually transmitted diseases. IVD Technology associate editor Maureen Kingsley interviewed HiberGene CEO Tony Hill to learn more about the emerging IVD company's licensing, fundraising, development, and commercialization eforts. IVD Technology: Please give us a brief history of your time with HiberGene. Tony Hill: Te company is about two years old. I came on board as CEO in May 2012. Since that time we've been very busy building up our business plan. We have brought KPMG on board as our corporate fnance partner to assist us in fundraising. How is fundraising going? It's going well. We've got KPMG alongside us, and they are reaching out to VCs and high-net-worth individuals whom we're looking to bring on board to develop funding for HiberGene, so that we can bring the meningitis test to the marketplace and develop a broad menu of infectiousdisease tests utilizing a common technology platform. What was the origin of HiberGene's meningitis test? Two years ago, when the company was formed, we drew up an exclusive global license for the meningitis test, which was developed at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Ireland. HiberGene started with the idea of bringing that test to the marketplace. Te test was developed to meet a very clear and unmet need for meningitis testing. In fact, in 2010, the United Kingdom's NICE, which is the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the UK body that sets guidelines for clinical testing, stated that the ideal way to detect meningitis would be to use a molecular method. 12 IVD TEC HNOL O G Y | SP RIN G 2013 magenta cyan yellow black Tony Hill became CEO of HiberGene in May 2012. He was previously global sales director with Innogenetics/ Fujirebio. From 2006 to 2008, Hill was vice president international sales for Orasure Technologies, with responsibility for introducing its rapid HIV test into Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hill worked for Sigma-Aldrich from 1991 to 2006 in various positions, including taking responsibility for biotechnology and sales development in Europe. He can be reached at tony.hill@hibergene.com. But it went on to say that most of the NHS labs were not equipped to provide the service. HiberGene has developed the meningitis test, and we have sourced an instrument platform from a third-party manufacturer to support the test. Tat provides access for the kinds of labs that previously would not have been able to provide this kind of service: small to medium-sized hospitals, emergency labs, and large children's hospitals, where you can run a very quick, simple test for meningitis. Today, that can be completed in 40 minutes. We're working on further development of that test to bring the testing time down even further. With meningitis, it's very important to begin therapy as soon as possible. Te earlier you start therapy, the better the outcome can be. How has meningitis traditionally been diagnosed? It has been done traditionally through culture testing, a process that can take two days. Tere are PCR methods for testing, as well; these methods are typically confned to large labs that have existing RT PCR equipment and platforms in place to do that. How has your experience at Innogenetics and Orasure prepared you for your role at HiberGene? My previous role was global sales director for Innogenetics [Belgium], specializing in molecular testing and genetic testing, so I have experience in molecular diagnostics. Also, I have geographically global experience, including in the United States, working with both direct sales forces and distributor networks. With HiberGene, our products will i v d t e c hnol ogy. com ES235841_IV1305_012.pgs 04.23.2013 05:08 UBM

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