For the past five years, the founders of the medtech company MedicQuant have been working on technology that is based on the detection of small molecules. In September, they joined the Business Acceleration Academy to focus on the commercial side of their research.
The team consists of CEO, Line Debois Frejlev Nielsen, and CTO, Malthe Hansen-Bruhn who both hold a Ph.D. in nanoscience from Aarhus University and have worked on the technology for more than five years. They founded the company with Professor Kurt Gothelf who serves as Scientific Advisor and has more than 20 years of experience within assay development, bioconjugation and chemistry.
We met with Line and Malthe for a talk about the start-up.
What need is MedicQuant addressing?
More than half a million people are on anticoagulant treatment in Denmark alone. In a trauma situation, it is critical to be able to measure the level or effect of anticoagulants to give the correct and safe treatment. A new class of anticoagulants, called Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs) are gradually substituting the current anticoagulant drugs. However, due to the lack of a rapid and local test for DOACs, the clinicians at local hospitals perform medical decisions on an insufficient basis.
What are you developing?
First, we developed a platform technology for the detection of small molecule drugs, and we have now moved on to develop a device for rapid and local testing of DOACs. The test will provide the level of DOACs from whole blood within 10 minutes, with no handling steps and at the point of care. With our device clinicians at local hospitals can make a decision based on data before treating patients.
When did you realize you were on to something valuable?
We have always known that our technology was unique as only few projects test on small molecules. But we discovered that it had a commercial potential after clinicians told us that it could make a difference in how they treat patients. When a large diagnostic company also showed interest six months ago, we were reassured that we are on to something. For us, it was a big milestone and very motivating because what good is science if it stays at the university?
Why did you apply for the BAA program?
We both finished our Ph.D’s last year and we initially applied for BII’s Proof of Concept grant, but we were rejected yet encouraged to apply for the Business Acceleration Academy. We did not think it was relevant at the time because we were so focused on the academic side of our project. As a scientist, you think you need a lot of data to proceed but that is not necessarily the case – you often just need enough. We realized that what we needed was more knowledge on how to get to the next level to eventually reach the market.
What have you learned in the program?
A lot. The amount of work that goes into market analysis has been an eye-opener and in general, things are much more complex than we had imagined. We have taken some big steps during the past months.
If you want to get in touch with MedicQuant and follow their work, click here.