Mirvie Developing First Early Detection RNA Test for Pregnancy Complications

Mirvie, a pioneer in pregnancy health, today announced it is making rapid progress toward developing a simple, personalised blood test with the potential for early detection of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, which affect 1 in 5 women. Currently, there is no reliable way to identify if a mother is at risk for these significant pregnancy complications.

Pregnancy complications affect 45 million women globally each year, triple the rate of cancer incidence. Today there is no reliable way to identify those pregnancies at risk.

The goal of Mirvie’s simple blood test in the early detection of complications such as preterm birth, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, which has the potential to reduce pregnancy healthcare costs by up to 65%.

Mirvie is led by a team of pioneers in women’s health, perinatal health, early cancer detection, liquid biopsy and gene sequencing.

Though progress has been made on prenatal DNA testing, disorders like Down syndrome affect fewer than 1% of pregnancies. Women remain largely underserved with regard to the frequent obstetric complications — such as preterm birth, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes — that often develop unexpectedly during a pregnancy. Such unexpected events are the leading cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide and account for over $50B in healthcare costs in the US and EU alone, not to mention the lifetime health consequences for mother or child that often result from such events. Yet today there is no effective way to identify individuals at risk early enough in their pregnancy to allow preventative treatment.

Mirvie’s proprietary technology uses a single blood sample from the mother to provide a personalised window into her pregnancy. The risk of developing complications is assessed by state-of-the-art machine learning analysis of tens of thousands of molecular transcripts from the mother, baby and placenta. The technology was invented at Stanford University through Stephen Quake’s groundbreaking work on pregnancy-related cell-free RNA (cfRNA). The idea for Mirvie was sparked when Quake experienced the premature birth of his own daughter and became determined to find a way to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy complications. An international collaboration led by Quake demonstrated that cfRNA could predict preterm birth. Mirvie scientific founder Quake is also well known for his earlier invention of the non-invasive prenatal test used by millions of expectant families today.

The opportunity to address such a major health problem attracted world-class scientific, business and women’s health talent to Mirvie:

  • Founding Board Chair Stanley Lapidus – is the founder of Exact Sciences and inventor of the Thin-Prep Pap test which is the gold standard of care in women’s health.
  • Founding CEO Maneesh Jain – is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of building five successful start-ups including the first platform to democratise next-generation sequencing; to transform point-of-care ultrasound, and the first liquid biopsy plasma test for early cancer detection.
  • Chief Medical Advisor Michal Elovitz – is an internationally known and respected physician-scientist in reproductive, maternal and child health, with extensive bench-to-bedside research and maternal-fetal medicine experience.
  • President and CCO Farida Peters-Abbadi– is a proven commercial leader with 20 years of sales and marketing experience in women’s health. Her experience includes digital health, prenatal diagnostics and cord blood/tissue stem cell therapeutics.

“Mirvie has taken a bold and fundamentally different approach to pregnancy health at the molecular level,” said Jain. “Using machine learning analysis of an RNA liquid biopsy, our immediate goal is the early detection of unexpected complications to enable earlier interventions. Down the road, we envision that knowledge of the underlying molecular subtypes that drive individual complications will catalyse more effective therapeutic interventions. I am honoured to lead Mirvie with a diverse team of proven leaders and an audacious vision to transform pregnancy health.”

“Mirvie’s precision diagnostic and personalised medicine approach has enormous potential to advance health for mothers and their babies,” said Elovitz, Professor of OB-GYN and Vice-Chair of Translational Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Pregnancy complications affect 45 million women globally each year. Yet, little is known about the molecular basis underlying both health and disease for the mother and child.”

“I’m enthusiastic about the potential to provide a risk-assessment test to mothers that is independent of clinical and demographic factors such as race and body mass index.”

Mirvie has raised over $30M in early-stage financing from top-tier investors, including Khosla Ventures and Mayfield Fund, with a shared vision to address the large unmet need in pregnancy health and the potential to impact the lives of millions of families worldwide.

About Mirvie

Pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes, affect 45 million women globally each year — triple the rate of cancer incidence. Yet, little is known about the underlying molecular basis of these complications and today there is no reliable way to identify if a mother is at risk and to take early action.

Mirvie’s mission is to redefine pregnancy health with the first early detection RNA test to address this critical unmet need. Mirvie offers a personalised window into pregnancy by using state-of-the-art machine learning and liquid biopsy technology to analyse tens of thousands of molecular messages from the mother, baby and placenta – all from a simple blood sample. Mirvie was founded in 2018 by a team of scientific and business pioneers that have an extensive track record innovating, developing and commercialising non-invasive and liquid biopsy tests used by millions of individuals today. Mirvie has raised over $30M in early-stage financing from top-tier investors, including Khosla Ventures and Mayfield Fund. Mirvie is based in South San Francisco, California. Please go to the company’s website at http://www.mirvie.com for more information.

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