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Mirnext, a newly established biomarker company developing next generation diagnostics for cardiovascular diseases

Mirnext, a newly established biomarker company developing next generation diagnostics for cardiovascular diseases

21 October | Mirnext

16 September 2014, Amsterdam. Mirnext is a Dutch biomedical company focused on the discovery, validation and commercialization of miRNAs as novel biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. The company develops clinically actionable multi-marker tests to improve diagnostic routine and clinical management of heart failure. 

Mirnext BV was recently established as a separate legal entity by the shareholders of ACS Biomarker BV, the company that was built on the discovery of Galectin-3. This protein biomarker for heart failure was out-licensed to BG Medicine Inc and is now available in the clinic. Mirnext will be fully dedicated to building miRNA-based cardiovascular tests. The same team responsible for ACS Biomarker is now driving Mirnext. The Mirnext team collaborates with a number of European FP7 and Dutch research consortia in the field of cardiovascular disease (such as EU-MASCARA, HOMAGE, BestAgeing, CTMM TRIUMPH, Circulating Cells and ENGINE) and the Netherlands Heart Foundation to drive real progress in biomarker development. Mirnext established a close collaboration with the AMC Heart Center in Amsterdam headed by Prof. Yigal Pinto who identified a series of miRNAs for the diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure, among others miR423-5p.

The company is convinced that the new class of miRNAs holds great promise as “next generation” biomarkers. miRNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules that are stably expressed in the circulation and already function as powerful biomarkers in oncology. Recent studies demonstrated the diagnostic and prognostic value of miRNAs in cardiovascular diseases. In parallel, dramatic progress was made with novel biomarker detection platforms that allow unprecedented multiplexing of extended miRNA signatures. The clinical effectiveness of the current generation of heart failure biomarkers is limited by the need to repeatedly measure multiple individual markers in order to generate a full risk profile of a heart failure patient. The classical heart failure protein markers have predominantly diagnostic or prognostic properties and only reflect one single part of the complex pathophysiology of heart failure.  Measuring multiple individual protein biomarkers is time-consuming and expensive since costs are additive for each marker. Mirnext is developing a cost-effective multi-marker test that simultaneously provides diagnostic and prognostic information. A quick and simplified diagnostic procedure that leads to a better understanding of a patient’s risk profile resulting in better treatment decisions and improved outcomes The establishment of Mirnext is financed by the Life Sciences Fund Amsterdam and Limburg Ventures. The funding will be used for assay development and clinical validation of the multi-marker panel. “I am very excited about the investment in Mirnext. Mirnext’s management team has developed an outstanding track-record in the development of heart failure diagnostics. I look forward to working with them in this new venture” comments Harm de Vries, partner at the Life Sciences Fund Amsterdam and member of the company’s Supervisory Board. “Given the great achievements made already by miRNAs in oncology, we are confident based on preliminary results that these biomarkers will make similar impact in the cardiovascular area , which in itself will be a major breakthrough benefitting doctors,  patients and insurance companies” comments Marcel Kloosterman, senior investment manager and member of the Supervisory Board, 

About Mirnext (www.mirnext.com) Mirnext is a Dutch biomedical SME focusing on the discovery, validation and commercialization of microRNAs as novel biomarkers for cardiovascular disease.  MicroRNAs or miRNAs are a new class of RNA molecules that are stably expressed in the circulation and already function as powerful biomarkers in oncology. The company’s key aim is to develop clinically actionable (“actionable” defined as: outcome of a test leads to a treatment decision and improved disease management) and cost-effective multi-marker tests to improve diagnostic routine and clinical management of heart failure and coronary artery disease. Heico Breek (CEO) Tel: +31 (0)6 519 47 522 E-mail: heico.breek@mirnext.com 

About the Life Sciences Fund Amsterdam (www.lsfamsterdam.nl) The Life Sciences Fund Amsterdam B.V. is an independent venture capital fund focusing on early stage companies and (university) spin-outs in the biotechnology and biomedical field with a presence in the Amsterdam region. The fund targets companies that are developing commercially promising products and technologies in life sciences, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, information technology and other high technology opportunities that offer venture capital returns. Harm de Vries (Partner) Tel: +31 (0)6 532 16 339 E-mail: hdevries@lsfamsterdam.nl 

About Limburg Ventures (www.limburgventures.com ) Limburg Ventures is a regional venture capital fund, which is  now fully invested. Its successor fund Chemelot Ventures, invests in promising companies (ranging from startups to stock listed) having breakthrough potential setting up at (or expanding their activities to) the Chemelot Campus in Geleen or the Biopartner Center in Maastricht. The focus is on companies which will benefit from and strengthen the clusters of innovative chemicals & materials, regenerative medicine & biomedical materials, analytics & diagnostics. Marcel Kloosterman (Senior Investment Manager) Tel: +31 (0)6 515 77 416 E-mail: marcel.kloosterman@limburgventures.com