Minomic: Innovative Testing and New Products




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Video title: Minomic: Innovative Testing and New Products
Released on: January 01, 2010. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks with Brad Walsh, CEO at Minomic International.

Filmed at AusBiotech 2009, they discuss:

• Minomic as a non-invasive diagnostic company
• proteins that are linked to prostate cancer
• unique tests and Minomic's secretive new marker
• diabetes as a growing disease
• when Minomic plans to have their new products on the market
Minomic International as a non-invasive diagnostic company.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision news review here in Melbourne, Australia. On this show I have Brad Walsh , who is CEO of a company called Minomic International's, which is based in Sydney, Australia. Welcome to the show.
Brad Walsh:
Thank you very much.
Fintan Walton:
Brad Walsh , your company is a diagnostics company, there are lots of diagnostics companies are out there not just in Australia but around the world but what is your diagnostics company all about?
Brad Walsh:
Our diagnostics company is about having non-invasive diagnostics, so we're using urine as an sample for our tests and we're working on two diagnostics-Kits and the lead one is for Prostate Cancer and the second one is for Type 2 Diabetes.
Basis of Prostate tests and Proteins that are linked to prostate cancer.
Fintan Walton:
So and clearly those are two important disease areas and clearly ones which require improvements in diagnosis?
Brad Walsh:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
What is the basis then of the for example the prostate test?
Brad Walsh:
Basis of the Prostate test and the difference from the current prostate test is we're detecting a protein which is actually present on Prostate Cancer cells but not normally in your prostate. So you may know that the current test is the PSA-test, problem with the PSA-test is that every man has a PSA level, it's a normally occurring protein that you have because you have a prostate. And the problem with that is of course that if you have a high level of PSA it may not necessarily be due to Prostate Cancer so you might be going for a rather unpleasant and painful biopsy without actually having Prostate Cancer.
Unique tests and Minomic International's secretive new marker
Fintan Walton:
So what is your marker?
Brad Walsh:
Our marker I can't reveal at this stage it is commercially sensitive and we have recently reached the milestone of identifying that marker which is a very exciting time, but unfortunately for your viewers we can't tell you yet.
Fintan Walton:
Could you tell us something about the property of that particular marker then presumably"
Brad Walsh:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
you know you've got confidence that it is only expressed in cancer cells?
Brad Walsh:
Yes we have a high confidence of that. It is a cell surface marker. And of course as you know the urethra travels through the prostate, so proteins are shed such as PSA from the prostate into the urine in the same way this protein is shed, but it actually occurs on the surface of the cell, we know that very clearly we know that design on the prostate cells so you don't sit [ph] Prostate Cancer cells so you don't sit on the normal prostate cells.
diabetes as a growing disease.
Fintan Walton:
Right. And then to the second test which you are developing that for Type 2 Diabetes tell us about that and what you think about that particular test?
Brad Walsh:
That's an interesting one, because we do have a test for doing Type 2 Diabetes which is the blood glucose test. And again it's a difficult test to perform with fasting, and blood samples, and sugary drinks all that sorts of things mean that probably takes about half a day to do a proper blood glucose test on somebody. So it's not something that people return and do particularly in their busy schedules, so again we I guess lit upon the idea from our background in the world of proteomics that proteins change in body fluids whether that's blood or whether that's urine, we see changes in proteins. So we started to doing a discovery project where we began to look for proteins in the body fluids that were in diabetics that were not in people without diabetics. And again with the basis that if we can detect those proteins using a simple Immunoassay test such as we use in pathology laboratories that you could then quickly and easily diagnose diabetics from urine samples, so when you go to the doctor and they take some blood or they take some urine it's one of the test that gets ticked so you can essentially give your sample and off you go and you get result back rather then spending your half a day in your busy schedule having needle stuck in you and drinking glucose syrup and alike.
Fintan Walton:
So the test obviously is for the disease not necessarily for monitoring glucose levels in?
Brad Walsh:
No it's not a monitoring test and there are various test for monitoring so there is blood glucose and there is also Glycated Haemoglobin and those tests are quite good for monitoring, but it's the detection and diabetes will effect one in four of the population by 20, 25 it is huge disease, World Health Organization names it one of their top five killers around the world and the westernization of diets around the world means that populations that were once protected from that because they had a better diet than as westerners do are no longer safe and so it's on the rise in China, it's on the rise in India, and it becoming quite a problem.
When Minomic International plans to have their new products on the market.
Fintan Walton:
Right. Now you are a privately held company presumably backed by what, by venture capital funds or private money how is it currently funded?
Brad Walsh:
We are actually public but unlisted. So we're hybrid based and so that funding has been from sophisticated investors who have supported us in developing these products. And they're very excited by the progress it's been made particularly over the last nine months. And so we're ready to move to the next stage.
Fintan Walton:
And that obviously is looking at the potential to be listed, is that correct?
Brad Walsh:
Yes, yes. So we are actually are in the throws of preparing the perspectives for listing on the Australian stock exchange.
Fintan Walton:
So how far away are your products from market?
Brad Walsh:
The first product is the Prostate Cancer test and that's 9 to 12 months way, so this time next year I hope to be back with you if you are at AusBiotech next year telling you and having in my hand a nice box with the product.
Fintan Walton:
And what's important also is understanding who are the purchasers of this particular of these test, so is this done in the GP office or is it done in the hospital, where are these test done?
Brad Walsh:
In the context of where this test is done it would be the same as the PSA-test, so it would be done in the pathology laboratory, so if we go to the GP or the neurologist if you referred on they would be ordering the test as part of their screening of your health, checking for obviously other problems that you may have besides Prostate Cancer you may have what they call the non-prostatic type of (indiscernable) which is just an enlargement. So how do you screen for that and how do you exclude those people from going to the next stage of having a biopsy to confirm the grade of cancer for example and our test will be the best way to do that.
Fintan Walton:
Brad Walsh , thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Brad Walsh:
Thank you very much.
Brad Walsh
CEO
Dr Brad Walsh Chief Executive Officer, has 25 years experience in the biotechnology business and has enjoyed a successful career commercializing immunoassay kits and proteomics technologies and consumables as well as bioinformatics software. His products are being sold and supplied by major us corporations like Waters and Bio-Rad. Before founding Minomic International he was general manager of a not-for-profit public entity called the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility. This was a multi-million dollar facility established in 1995 by the Federal Government. Prior to this he led research groups in public institutions such as CSIRO, universities and hospitals. With his background and having successfully guided Minomic International and MPL through six of the most turbulent years in biotech, both industry and government have eagerly sought his opinion as a thought leader and technologist. He has won prizes for the products being developed by the Company and was responsible for putting MPL on the 2006 business review weekly upstarts list of 200 fastest growing start-up companies.
Minomic International
Minomic Internationalwas established in 2007, as a company that commercializes late stage biotechnology development projects. The first two diagnostic products for the detection of Prostate Cancer and the detection of Type 2 Diabetes will be Minomic International's flagship commercialization projects. Both diagnostic products are urine based tests and will offer significant advantages over the dominant, more invasive screening methods currently used for detecting each disease. With the ability to identify and test reliably for biomarkers of diseases such as cancer and diabetes, Minomic International is in a niche and growing market with few rivals. The technology has major opportunities for rapid product range extension in diseases where traditional tests are limited or inadequate. Proteomics is revolutionizing protein moleculardiagnostics through the discovery of protein biomarkers and panels of biomarkers that may be developed into highly predictive diagnostic tests. These tests will provide improved patient care as well as providing pharmacoproteomic services that lead to improved drug toxicology, efficacy and theranostic assays. Minomic International has an impressive board of directors and management team, ensuring that the company is well equipped for global expansion and future development projects.