- Company seeking to raise up to €5 million to accelerate commercialisation programme for its predictive osteoporosis test
Crescent Diagnostics Ltd (“Crescent”), a medical diagnostics company, which has developed a proprietary predictive test for osteoporosis, today announced the appointment of Brendan K. Farrell as CEO.
Brendan has over 30 years international experience in the diagnostics industry with extensive expertise in marketing and sales, licensing and acquisitions, fund-raising, investor relations and general management.
Between 1994-2008 he was President/CEO of Trinity Biotech Plc, a NASDAQ-listed diagnostics company. He was instrumental in growing Trinity Biotech from revenues of $3 million to $140 million and in turning it from loss making to sustained and strong profitability. Prior to joining Crescent, Brendan was CEO of EnBio Ltd, a company specialising in surfacing modification technology. He is also the executive chairman of HiberGene Diagnostics Ltd.
Crescent, headquartered at NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, is currently embarking on a Series B funding round of up to €5 million to accelerate the commercialisation programme for BQT®, its proprietary predictive test for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones which can cause fractures. The disease is remarkably prevalent, affecting 200 million women across the world. In fact 1 in 3 women over 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
However, osteoporosis is preventable, as a range of effective and inexpensive treatment options are available, although most people are diagnosed only after they experience a fracture.
The most commonly used screening tool is dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which measures bone mineral density. A significant problem is that DXA misses an estimated 50% of those who will go on to suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture.
Crescent’s BQT® test involves analysing the chemical bonds in a small toenail clipping, which Crescent’s research has shown to be strongly predictive of future hip fractures, the most devastating of osteoporosis-related fractures.
As BQT® does not depend on bone mineral density, it provides a new perspective on hip fracture prediction. In fact, results from initial studies suggest that BQT® has the ability to predict fractures earlier than DXA.
An estimated 5 million DXA scans are conducted in the US each year, although far too few patients are currently being screened for the condition. The ease and effectiveness of the BQT® test has the potential to revolutionise the diagnosis of the disease and dramatically increase screening rates.
The test process involves taking a toenail clipping and sending it to a laboratory for analysis using the BQT® nail analyser. This imposes a minimum of inconvenience on both the patient and the clinician.
Brendan Farrell, CEO, Crescent Diagnostics said, “I was attracted to Crescent by its exciting and innovative diagnostic technology, which will help clinicians identify at-risk patients early and effectively. What makes Crescent’s technology particularly appealing is the huge market opportunity that it addresses as osteoporosis is a remarkably prevalent condition, which causes terrible suffering as well as an enormous economic burden.”
He added, “The real tragedy is that osteoporosis is preventable, but most people only find out that they have the disease after they have a fracture.” He concluded, “Crescent’s focus is now on the development of a high-throughput test instrument suitable for use in hospital labs across the US and Europe.”
Alan O’Connell, from existing investor Seroba BioVentures, commenting on the appointment of Mr Farrell said, “We are delighted to bring on board a CEO of Brendan’s calibre. He has extensive commercial experience in the diagnostics industry and will contribute significantly to the strategic direction and growth of the company. Brendan has joined Crescent at an exciting time in its commercialisation programme, as it puts preparations in place to commence a pivotal study designed to help obtain FDA approval and CE mark.”
4 April 2012
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, University College Dublin, Communications Manager (Innovation), e: email@example.com, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or Dave McGeady, Business Development Director, Crescent Diagnostics Ltd, e: firstname.lastname@example.org, t + 353 1 906 0190.
Crescent Diagnostics Ltd is a medical diagnostics company developing an innovative test platform which uses novel biomarkers to predict disease risk. Crescent’s initial focus is on BQT® - a proprietary predictive test for osteoporosis. BQT® will enable clinicians to identify those who are at high risk of suffering a hip fracture – the most devastating consequence of osteoporosis. Appropriate interventions can then be made to help patients avoid this preventable disease.
Crescent Diagnostics Ltd current investors include Seroba BioVentures (www.seroba-kernel.com), Kernel Capital (www.kernelcapital.ie), Enterprise Equity (www.enterpriseequity.ie) and Enterprise Ireland (www.enterprise-ireland.com)
NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, is the hub of innovation and knowledge transfer activities at University College Dublin. NovaUCD is responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property arising from UCD research and for the development of co-operation with industry and business. NovaUCD as a purpose-built centre also nurtures high-tech and knowledge-intensive enterprises such asCrescent Diagnostics Ltd. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. www.ucd.ie/nova