22 December 2022 –
According to Guido Maertens, co-founder and CEO of Enzyre, money is key to success in the world of biotech and life science. “In this world, you really have to believe in your own plans and products, otherwise it gets very tough. But the potential for our product is worth the effort since the treatment of haemophilia is extremely expensive.” With the completion of this Series A round, Enzyre has secured funding to further develop its first product for haemophilia and platform technology.
Right now, it’s all about making their prototype robust for Enzyre. “We want to move towards clinical validation testing. As a research tool, we don’t want to get stuck. The ultimate goal is to help patients at home. That’s why we have to step up the quality!”
What will Enzyre help patients at home with? The company focuses on patients with haemophilia, a chronic blood disease. “These people do not have enough active factor-8 protein, so the blood doesn’t clot sufficiently. Quite simply, a small bleed can already have extreme consequences for these people.” Patients in the Netherlands receive proper, often prophylactic treatment. “They inject medication every week. But as a patient, you also want to know how much medication is left in your blood. That’s where we come in.”
Monitoring for peace of mind
Enzyre is currently developing the EnzyPad, a tool that allows patients to monitor their medication levels. So how does that work? “It starts with taking a blood sample. Fortunately, this can be done painlessly with a blood sampling device. You put that sample on our EnzyCard, our test card. We mix the blood with a number of chemicals. This causes a reaction, producing light. You can measure light in the form of photons. Simply put: if there are too few photons, it’s time for more medication.”
This simple monitoring provides peace of mind for patients, according to Guido. “Patients now know exactly how well the medication is working. It reassures them. They know they’re protected, should something happen. It also means that people can lead a more active life because fear doesn’t hold a grip on them.” There are also major benefits for the healthcare system. “Treatment for haemophiliacs costs around €250,000 a year. So any saving quickly yields a profit.”
Long- and short-term
In the short term, Enzyre is going to use the money it raised to go from a prototype to a product. This also includes the realization of a pilot product line. But there is also the long term. “We don’t just want to focus on haemophilia. We want to become a leading company in the world of blood clotting. We probably need a partnership for that, with a diagnostic company, for example. We are very good at research and development, but we could use some help with sales or distribution.”
Enzyre is already working with many companies in the region. “The Noviotech Campus has brought us a lot in terms of networking. We develop our hardware in collaboration with Sencio and EPR Partner. And our first sensors came from NXP!”
Thousands of potential savings
Guido is also very happy about the partnership with Takeda. “They are a very big pharmaceutical company, with an awful lot of content knowledge. For a company like Enzyre, a partnership like that is rather unique, but we’re happy to be working together. We couldn’t have closed this investment round without Takeda.” The successful round of investment brings patients one step closer to leaving their fears behind. This way Enzyre continues to use its network on and off campus to lower the impact of haemophilia on patients’ lives. As medication is costly, their product has the potential to lower healthcare costs by thousands of euros per patient.