Israel-based immune response diagnostics company MeMed announced Monday it had closed a $93 million private financing round. Proceed will be used to build manufacturing capacity, accelerate commercialization of its diagnostic kits and platform, and to broaden the company’s product lines. In total, MeMed has raised more than $200 million including funding from the U.S. Department of Defense and the EU Commission.
MeMed’s core technology—it’s MeMed BV test run on the MeMed Key testing platform—is able to quickly distinguish whether a patient has a bacterial or a viral infection to allow physicians to either properly prescribe antibiotics, when needed, but also to avoid prescribing them if a patient is suffering from a viral infection. The test has significant potential to help curb overprescribing of antibiotics and help tackle the ongoing challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
In September last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for use of the MeMed BV test on the point-of-need platform MeMed Key, the first test of its kind to receive such clearance. MeMed’s technology is unique as it decodes the body’s immune response to infection, or the “host response” rather trying to detect the presence of a microbe in a sample. This allows patient diagnosis when the infection site is inaccessible or unknown, even when the pathogen is undetectable using conventional tests, or when the cause of infection is an emerging new pathogen.
“It has been a decade long journey to reach this point from concept to impacting patient lives,” said Eran Eden, MeMed’s co-founder and CEO at the time of the approval. “This FDA clearance is a breakthrough moment in the field of advanced host-response.”
Rich Bachur, professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and chief, Division of Emergency Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital added: “For those of us who care for acutely ill children, we have been waiting decades for accurate, rapid diagnostics to confidently guide the care of moderately ill children without a clear focus of infection or recognizable viral illness. This novel test offers promise to help differentiate those children with selflimited viral illness from those with possible bacterial infection, thereby supporting the judicious use of antibiotics.”
In addition to its core tests, MeMed also has developed a test to help address the COVID-19 pandemic called MeMed COVID-19 Severity, which predicts severe outcomes in COVID-19 patients. This test has been approved for use in Europe.
The latest financing included participation by Horizons Ventures, Shavit Capital, Social Capital, La Maison Partners, Touchwood Capital, Caesara Medical Holdings, Union Tech Ventures, ClaI Insurance, Phoenix Insurance, Poalim Equity, and Western Technology Investment.
Patrick Zhang, biotechnology and healthcare investment lead at Horizons Ventures, noted “We strongly believe that MeMed’s strategy of using host-immune response technologies is a significant advance in the improvement of two major issues in healthcare today: the rise of antimicrobial resistance due to unnecessary prescription of antibiotics and effectively triaging patients infected with COVID-19. We look forward to playing a role in how MeMed, a category leader in this area, is transforming the way diseases are diagnosed and treated to improve patient healthcare across the globe.”