Following a successful fundraising in Q4 2016, METAFORA achieves an important milestone by announcing, in partnership with CERBA Healthcare, the availability of the METAglut1 blood test to diagnose the GLUT1 deficiency syndrome (GLUT1 DS). Through METAglut1, our disruptive technology becomes available, for the first time, to patients.
De Vivo’s disease (the other name of GLUT1 DS) is affecting mainly children and is very debilitating. This is due to a defect in the expression of GLUT1, the major glucose transporter, at the surface of cells. This is mostly dramatic at the brain level.
METAFORA has developed a blood based test that will allow the early detection of the disease and that will be performed by CERBA Healthcare. Because the disease is curable it is very important to be able to detect it early as to avoid irreversible brain damage. Today this can be achieved through our METAglut1 test.
This partnership represents a major achievement in the fight against this disease and will bring relief to numerous patients and families.
PRESS RELEASE – METAglut1, A NEW DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR THE GLUT1 DEFICIENCY SYNDROME
Saint-Ouen l’Aumône and Evry, France – February 02nd, 2017
Laboratoire Cerba and METAFORA biosystems are proud to announce the availability of the innovative test METAglut1 in routine biology to help diagnose the GLUT1 deficiency syndrome (GLUT1-DS) Laboratoire Cerba will perform the METAglut1 diagnostics test developed by METAFORA for the early non-invasive diagnosis of a debilitating neurological disease, the GLUT1 deficiency syndrome (also named De Vivo disease). This disease which affects mostly children is due to a lack of expression of GLUT1, the major glucose transporter. This metabolic disorder induces a chronic glucose deficiency in the brain and provokes epileptic seizures, movement disorders, learning disabilities and even behavioral difficulties in affected children. The METAglut1 test is a true medical innovation, the first ever diagnostics test to illustrate a dysfunction in cells’ nutrition and was just CE marked at the end of January.
This syndrome belongs to the rare disease group and is thought to be extremely under diagnosed due to the very heterogeneous presentation of symptoms that can even be quite atypical. It is estimated that some thousands of patients are affected by the disease in Europe, of which 90% are not diagnosed to date and therefore endure a dramatic medical wandering. “Clinical variability of the disease and low awareness induce an important lag in diagnostics. The mean diagnostic age is around 8 years of age although the first clinical signs appear during the first year of life. Patients’ quality of life is significantly improved by an adapted diet. Being able to come up with an early diagnosis is therefore crucial for improving clinical practice in this disease” comments Vincent Petit, co-founder and CEO of METAFORA biosystems.
Today no satisfactory biological method exists to guide or confirm the diagnosis of a GLUT1 deficiency. The functional exploration of the syndrome is complex and requires most of the time a hospitalization to perform a lumbar puncture and to test glucose in the cerebrospinal fluid. On the other hand the analysis of the SLC2A1 gene is lengthy and expensive. “The test is non-invasive, and is performed using a classic blood sample. It is simple, fast and automated and we shall be able to provide both doctor and patient with a result in 24 hours, very quickly after the first symptoms and a clinical suspicion. This test is meant to save years of diagnosis for patients” points out Jérôme Salette, Chief Innovation and Development Officer at Cerba Healthcare. “We are proud to collaborate with Cerba Healthcare so that our test will be promptly and widely available to the medical community thanks to their large network of laboratories in France but also overseas” adds Vincent Petit.
About METAFORA biosystems
METAFORA biosystems was established in 2011, and is based at Genopole®, Evry, France. The company is developing an innovative technology, the only one able to assess cells’ nutrition needs simply and quickly, therefore assessing and detecting abnormalities in their energy needs. Proprietary reagents (RBDs) and cutting-edge algorithms are at the heart of the technology platform, and enable the readout of “metabolic reprogramming”, induced during numerous pathological processes. RBD applications have been validated through numerous scientific articles published in leading reviews, and METAFORA now deploys its technology for in-vitro diagnostics (IVD). The first test is launched on the market, and developments are in progress to position the platform on cancer, inflammatory diseases and metabolic diseases markets, applications that will turn METAFORA into a key player in diagnostics.
About Laboratoire Cerba
Created in 1967 and accredited in compliance with the NF ISO 15189 standard since 1999, Laboratoire Cerba is the European leader in specialist medical biology. Integrating more than 40 medical specialties and employing over 600 highly qualified staff on a single site located to the north-west of Paris, on average Laboratoire Cerba handles some 40,000 dossiers daily. With a state-of-the-art technological platform, it is able to offer private and hospital laboratories in over 50 countries a wide range of specialised biological tests in fields such as molecular biology, oncology, allergology, toxicology, hormonology, and infectious and metabolic diseases together with diagnostic analyses for genetic diseases in cytogenetics and molecular genomics. Laboratoire Cerba ceaselessly works to develop its technological and human potential and has launched numerous collaborative projects with both public and private establishments to ensure it always remains on the leading-edge of innovation. Since 1998, Laboratoire Cerba’s pathologists have contributed to over 500 scientific publications. It is also a founder member of the Cerba HealthCare group, an international medical biology group, working in three complementary sectors: – routine biology mainly in France, Belgium and Luxembourg with over 300 laboratories, 150 sample collection centres and 50 technical platforms; – biology for medical specialties with the Cerba platform; – clinical trial biology, essential to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for the development of new molecules, through its subsidiary BARC today present on five continents. Recently the Group has diversified into the veterinary biology sector with the creation of a dedicated unit, Cerba Vet. It now employs nearly 4,300 staff, including 350 pathologists.