Debiopharm invests 'tens of millions' in Canadian Dx startup

Test tubes

Switzerland’s Debiopharm is ponying up “tens of millions of dollars” to accelerate the development of GenePOC’s point-of-care molecular diagnostic tests.

The investment comes after Quebec-based GenePOC won a CE mark for its first bacteriological test, the companies said in a statement. The test identifies “the most serious pathogenic bacteria” and the biomarkers that indicate antibiotic resistance, according to the statement. The company plans to commercialize the approved product in Europe this fall, with eyes on the U.S. and Canadian markets next year.

Debiopharm, a group of Swiss biopharmas, aims to address unmet medical needs by developing prescription drugs. One of its areas of focus is the development of targeted antibiotics against staphylococci bacteria, according to the statement. GenePOC’s test will return rapid diagnostic results, “enabling the best possible care.”

Debiopharm is also pitching “millions of Swiss francs” into its Martigny, Switzerland location to establish a new production line for the manufacture of the consumable for testing with GenePOC’s diagnostic tech.

"Our vision of healthcare doesn't stop at medicines. Patients nowadays do not want to purchase treatments, but good health. … This is why on top of the antibiotics that we are developing, we want to offer rapid diagnostics and a system which ensures that treatments are monitored,” said Thierry Mauvernay, co-president and delegate of Debiopharm’s board, in the statement.