BRISBANE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Microba Life Sciences Limited (ASX: MAP) (“Microba”) is pleased to announce that it has executed a commercial agreement with Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) through a wholly owned subsidiary Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology Pty Ltd, to distribute Microba’s advanced infectious disease test MetaPanel™ in Australia (Distribution Agreement).
The announcement of the MetaPanel™ Distribution Agreement marks the first commercial agreement between Microba and Sonic Healthcare following the announcement to the ASX of the $17.8m strategic investment by Sonic Healthcare into Microba on 29 November 2022. At the time of the investment, Sonic and Microba agreed initial terms for a strategic partnership to distribute Microba’s microbiome testing technology into Sonic Healthcare’s major markets. The execution of this Distribution Agreement now completes the first of those commercial distribution arrangements, providing exclusive distribution rights to deliver the MetaPanel™ test Australia-wide through the Sonic Healthcare Australia Pathology network.
Microba’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Luke Reid said, “We are excited to be bringing Microba's testing products to clinicians and their patients throughout Australia via Sonic Healthcare's specialist national laboratory network. The MetaPanel™ technology was developed over many years and represents a world-first in pathology through comprehensive metagenomic testing for gastrointestinal infectious diseases. Sonic Healthcare is a leading provider of high-quality pathology services and will lead the commercialisation efforts to deliver the MetaPanel™ test nationally. Sonic Australia is the first region to distribute Microba’s technology, with plans to deliver our testing technology and products into additional markets across the globe through our partnership”.
About the MetaPanel Technology
MetaPanel™ is an advanced in-vitro diagnostic for testing of causal agents of gastrointestinal infectious disease. The test employs Microba’s metagenomics technology to diagnose infectious pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and DNA viruses together with assessment of virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes to support precise treatment decisions. The test helps clinicians to avoid multiple, low-coverage, and sequential diagnostic tests that can impact treatment outcomes for vulnerable patients. The MetaPanel™ technology seeks to create a new standard of care for gastrointestinal infectious disease pathology. Microba has worked intimately with clinical microbiologists and infectious disease experts to design the target list and support clinical validation, including the Sonic Healthcare Douglass Hanley Moir team – one of the most highly respected and high-quality pathology service teams in Australia, and leading clinician Professor Paul Griffin, Director of Infectious Diseases at the Mater Hospital Brisbane.
About the gastrointestinal infectious disease pathology market
It is estimated that there are over 16m patients globally per annum1, including over 100k patients in Australia1, which are high risk and susceptible to gastrointestinal infection who receive routine testing for pathogens in a hospital setting. In addition, globally there is growing concern regarding AMR and the overuse or misuse of antibiotics. This is driving advocacy and demand for increased use of pathogen and AMR testing to guide treatment decisions and best practice antibiotic prescriptions. Current diagnostic testing methods include culturing technologies and nucleic acid amplification tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These current testing methods are limited in their ability to cover the full diversity of pathogens, subtypes and AMR genes, and are often subject to sequential testing which delays critical treatment decisions. Microba’s MetaPanel™ technology has the opportunity create a new standard through employing advanced metagenomics to deliver broad coverage of pathogens, AMR and virulence factor genes from a single test to guide targeted treatment.
About Sonic Healthcare
Sonic Healthcare is one of the world’s leading healthcare providers, with a reputation for excellence in laboratory medicine/pathology, radiology and primary care medical services, across operations in Australasia, Europe and North America. The group provides highly specialised pathology/clinical laboratory and radiology services to clinicians (GPs and specialists), hospitals, community health services, and their patients. Sonic is the world’s third-largest provider of pathology/clinical laboratory services (referred to in some markets as 'laboratory medicine').
Employing over 41,000 people globally, Sonic is the largest private pathology operator in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, the second-largest in Belgium and New Zealand and the third-largest in the USA.
About Microba Life Sciences Limited
Microba Life Sciences is a precision microbiome company driven to improve human health. With world-leading technology for measuring the human gut microbiome, Microba is driving the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for major chronic diseases and delivering gut microbiome testing services globally to researchers, clinicians, and consumers. Through partnerships with leading organisations, Microba is powering the discovery of new relationships between the microbiome, health and disease for the development of new health solutions.
1 Estimated based on the global number of immuno-compromised patients and other patients at high risk for gastrointestinal infection (>8.1m global and >68k Australian chemotherapy treated solid tumor cancer patients, and >1.1m global and >8k Australian haematological cancer patients DOI::https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30163-9), (>3m global and 12k Australian dialysis patients DOI: 10.1038/s41581-022-00542-7), (>140k global and >1k Australian Organ Transplant patients per year https://www.transplant-observatory.org/), (>3.5m global and >25k long stay ICU patients – estimate based on data from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/intensive-care-beds-per-100000 )