Please introduce yourself and ALCEDIAG. How your company is born?
Marianne Morini: ALCEDIAG is a precision diagnostics company developing blood-based diagnostic solutions based on epigenetics biomarkers (RNA editing) and artificial intelligence. The company has a first focus on mental health. The tests and software that we develop help to characterize the psychiatric patient, from the initial diagnosis to the monitoring of the disease and the assessment of the response to treatment.
Our first product EDIT-B® will obtain CE mark in 2020. It is a blood test to differentiate patients with bipolar disorder from patients from unipolar depression. Today, this differentiation is particularly complicated to perform with existing clinical tools. It is one of the key reasons explaining why bipolar disorder requires in average 7,5 years to be diagnosed. With EDIT-B, which is biological, rapid and highly accurate, we believe we can significantly reduce diagnostic wandering and help millions of patients in the world.
ALCEDIAG was born in 2013 from the combined visions of Dinah Weissmann, our CSO, and ALCEN, the mother company of ALCEDIAG. Dinah had an extensive experience in RNA editing and a deep understanding of what epigenetics would bring to the world of psychiatry. ALCEN is a family owned group who invests in breakthrough technologies with the ambition to bring to the market solutions for some of today’s key issues. Together, they decided to tackle the issue of biological diagnosis for mental health.
Why did you apply to the Collaborative and Licensing Opportunity Presentations? What was your expectations?
M. M.: Our goal is to partner with leading life science companies (pharma and diagnostic industry) to make our tests accessible to a large number of patients. When applying for the Collaborative and Licensing Opportunity Presentations, we knew that many of these life science companies attending Biofit would be likely to hear about our innovative technologies and products. It was an opportunity for us to increase our visibility and our chances of finding a valuable partner.
What did this victory as the Most Promising Technology bring to you and your company?
M. M.: We are proud of this award of the Most Promising Technology. First, it is a confirmation that our products are appealing to the pharma industry and to investors who were on the jury, and that we are on the right way in terms of development. As a team, it is also a recognition of our work and of our accomplishments. Then, it definitely increased our visibility during BIOFIT, attracted many people to our stand and allowed us to connect with a lot potential partners. After a few weeks, we can see that these benefits last beyond the congress thank to the media coverage and the contacts we made at the congress.
What’s next for ALCEDIAG now?
M. M.: The next major milestone for us is the CE marking of our first diagnostic test which is expected in a few months. The market opportunity is huge as depression – and personalized diagnosis of different types of depression – is a major medical concern in all countries. And psychiatry is a wide field that definitely needs biology to progress towards precision medicine and we keep on working hard to develop other useful solutions to unmet needs.