Debiopharm invests double digit millions in the Canadian startup GenePOC, specialized in the development of rapid diagnostic tests

GenePOC, which has just received CE marking for its first bacteriological test, will start commercialization in Europe this autumn, and Debiopharm will set up a future production line in Martigny

Québec, Canada and Lausanne, Switzerland – 30 August 2016 – Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm) and GenePOC, Inc. (GenePOC) have announced a new phase in the development of GenePOC. Debiopharm has committed to investing tens of millions of dollars in accelerating the development of GenePOC’s technology and its launch. Debiopharm also plans to set up a new production line for diagnostic tests at its company based in Valais.

In addition to developing medicines, diagnostics has always played an important role in the Group’s strategy. This new investment demonstrates Debiopharm’s consistency in offering point-of-care treatments and technology for the benefit of patients. Debiopharm is developing highly targeted antibiotics against all types of staphylococci responding to unmet medical need. The technology provided by GenePOC will give quick diagnostic results in no more than an hour at a highly competitive price, enabling the best possible care. GenePOC’s tests will be launched in Europe this autumn and in the US and Canada next year, firstly to identify the most serious pathogenic bacteria and their antibiotic resistance markers, and then viruses.

Debiopharm also intends to invest millions of Swiss francs in its Martigny-based company. The funding, which will create additional jobs, will enable the creation of a new production line to manufacture the consumable used for testing the samples in the GenePOC Diagnostics technology.

“Our vision of healthcare doesn’t stop at medicines. Patients nowadays do not want to purchase treatments, but good health. This means that patient care has to be holistic and no longer purely therapeutic. 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. Diagnostics directly affect 70%-80% of decisions, while it only accounts for 2% of health costs. Information is a real need for medical decisions”, explains Thierry Mauvernay, Co-President and Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group. “Before long, every hospital ward and pharmacy will have GenePOC technology: these tests will make it possible to prevent illnesses and treat patients quickly with the right medicines and to ensure the best support for quick results at a lower price.”

“This investment is a strong sign of Debiopharm’s confidence in GenePOC, and will allow us to tackle the next key steps on the road to commercial success in the best possible conditions. There is a good synergy between the menu GenePOC will develop and Debiopharm’s strategy and this will allow us to become a major player in the area of point of care molecular diagnostics for infectious disease, and also create a large number of new jobs”, added Patrice Allibert CEO of GenePOC.

“As the founder of GenePOC I am delighted to be personally associated with a group like Debiopharm that believes so strongly in our technology which was developed at the Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie (CRI) at the University of Laval. Debiopharm will bring the means necessary to accelerate GenePOC’s development, which will make its point of care tests available at a reasonable price for doctors and patients, transforming medical practice with its precise and rapid (<1h) real time diagnosis, and saving many lives”, concluded Michel G. Bergeron, M.D.

About Debiopharm Group
Debiopharm Group™ is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of four companies active in the development and manufacture of drugs and diagnostics tools. Debiopharm focuses on developing prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The group in-licenses and develops promising drug candidates. The products are commercialized by pharmaceutical out-licensing partners to give access to the largest number of patients worldwide.
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About GenePOC
GenePOC is a company that specializes in the development of rapid diagnostic devices which enable the prevention and detection of infectious diseases.
The company devised the GenePOC Diagnostics system, enabling rapid microbial testing at the point of care (POC). This instrument can analyse any type of infection in no more than an hour, is easy to operate and deals with a wide range of biological samples, making it a user-friendly and efficient tool.
In 2013, Frost & Sullivan recognized GenePOC by presenting it with the 2013 Best Practices Award North American Molecular Diagnostics Entrepreneurial Company of the Year.
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