High-Tech Gründerfonds invests in Humedics, a spin-off from Freie Universität Berlin and the Charité university hospital

26-Mar-2010 - Germany

Humedics markets a method for instantaneous measurement of liver function at the patient’s bedside. Known as the LiMAx Test, which was developed at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin by Dr Martin Stockmann and refined into a measurement system together with Prof. Karsten Heyne of Freie Universität Berlin, is now able for the first time to precisely measure liver function. High-Tech Gründerfonds has invested about EUR 500,000 in the newly formed Humedics company for it to commence development of production devices and the approval process.

The LiMAx Test measures the liver’s enzyme levels, which can be diminished if there is damage. A specially developed agent for the measurement is administered to the patient, which is then processed in the liver. The decomposition product is then measured on the exhaled air using an innovative, newly developed device (FLIP). “The accuracy of the reading enables therapies to be better adapted to the individual patient,” explains Dr Martin Stockmann of the clinic for general, visceral and transplant surgery at the Campus Virchow Hospital. Diagnosis of liver disease has up to now caused problems in everyday clinical practice because the liver readings from the blood only show a change, but they do not accurately measure liver function. It could therefore happen, for example, that the laboratory readings were normal despite the onset of cirrhosis. The new test catches even these initial symptoms of illness.

This new, non-invasive FLIP/ LiMAx system makes it possible to improve the planning of surgical intervention involving the liver, to predict post-operative liver failure, to indentify cirrhosis of the liver and to monitor liver regeneration. The system is applied in liver surgery including liver transplant, the whole area of hepatology and intensive care.

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