Nutromics is aiming to revolutionise healthcare by bringing continuous molecular monitoring to market
Medical professionals rely heavily on blood draws for clinical decision making. But often, there is a significant delay between the sample being drawn and the results being returned. Australian MedTech company Nutromics aims to change that by building a biosensing technology platform that offers continuous real-time molecular data to medical professionals, and ultimately, to the patients they serve.
A New Target
Nutromics is developing a remarkable new biosensor technology – a small, wearable patch with a microneedle array that captures molecular data and transmits it wirelessly to a software application. The needles on the Nutromics biosensor are around a millimetre in length, too small to hit nerve endings and cause pain, but long enough to access the interstitial fluid (ISF). This fluid is an interface between our blood vessels and cells, carrying nutrients from our capillaries to our cells and removing waste products discharged by our cells.
Instead of drawing blood, the Nutromics biosensor uses ISF as a blood proxy, allowing continuous access to multiple molecular targets. The microneedle array is worn as a patch on the skin, and each needle is able to act as a sensor for a different molecular target. This continuous molecular monitoring (CMM) has the same advantages as the continuous glucose monitors worn by diabetics. It represents a far better user experience than repeated blood draws, while also offering real-time data.
Nutromics was co-founded in 2017 by co-CEOs Hitesh Mehta and Peter Vranes, after meeting at a conference. Mehta, an experienced healthcare consultant, and Vranes, a chemical engineer and serial entrepreneur, bonded over a beer and a conversation about the book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’. Written by Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware, the book sparked a discussion about regret and legacy and affirmed a strong passion for healthcare for both Mehta and Vranes.
When the pair heard about Professor Kevin Plaxco’s work in biosensing at the University of California, Santa Barbara, they saw an opportunity in preventative healthcare. Professor Plaxco had been researching and developing an electrochemical sensor platform that allowed for real-time molecular sensing in vivo. Mehta and Vranes flew from Melbourne to Los Angeles, catching an Uber to Santa Barbara to meet Professor Plaxco for just a few hours. On their second trip they secured the biosensing technology for Nutromics. “Timing is very important sometimes in the life of a startup and bringing things to market,” Mehta said. “When Peter says we secured that deal, we secured it quite literally a week before the pandemic border shut down and all travel was impossible. So one weekend could have made all the difference in the direction of our company.”
CMM to Market
Nutromics is on a mission to transform healthcare by offering faster data and better patient outcomes. Mehta and Vranes believe that their biosensing technology will eventually render symptomatic diagnosis obsolete by offering monitoring and diagnosis before symptoms are apparent. “What we do today is wait for a symptom, and then go and treat it,” said Vranes. “And that's not preventative medicine, that's reactive medicine.”
Nutromics is about to start their first human trials with their new biosensing technology stack at Monash University in Melbourne, with trials to follow in the United States. Mehta and Vranes are also looking to raise $50 to $100 million in funding, to further develop partnerships and secure manufacturing and approval processes. The pair are targeting a commercial launch with full regulatory approval in 2025.
For Mehta and Vranes, Nutromics is more than a MedTech company, it is a passion and a moral imperative. “I think what we're doing now is, this is the juice of life,” Vranes said. “It is our legacy … we go even beyond that, we say it's our moral imperative if we have an ability to save people’s lives.”
If you want to hear more about Nutromics and their incredible new technology, listen to our full chat with Peter Vranes and Hitesh Mehta on the Artesian Podcast: ArteHouse Innovation Series https://www.artesianinvest.com/podcast/episode/7855ddb3/nutromics-better-healthcare-by-way-of-continuous-molecular-monitoring
and check out https://www.nutromics.com.au/.