Pfizer, Novo invest in Swedish patient stratification startup

Pfizer and Novo are contributing to a $9 million funding round for Swedish digital startup AMRA – which specialises in patient stratification technology. 

The money will go towards the development of AMRA’s key offering, AMRA Profiler – a technology which allows for highly accurate body fat and muscle measurements based on a six-minute whole body MRI scan.

AMRA Profiler is the first technology of its kind to receive a CE mark for clinical use in Europe.

Its highly accurate method of measuring body composition makes it ideal for patient stratification, helping to provide precise diagnoses in metabolic health.

Examples of this include determining which patients could be at high risk of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and more.

Apart from assisting healthcare professionals, the tool could also be used in clinical trials as it can help determine treatment efficacy and effects on the body.

Co-leaders Pfizer Venture Investments and Nordic VC Novo Seeds were joined by Industrifonden – another Nordic VC fund and current AMRA investor.

“Pfizer Venture Investments invests in emerging companies developing technologies that can enhance Pfizer’s pipeline and shape the future of our industry,” said Bill Burkoth, executive director at Pfizer Venture Investments. “AMRA’s disruptive technology offers a personalised medicine approach to identify those at-risk of poor metabolic health outcomes. We are pleased to assist AMRA in making significant progress in this field.”

Søren Møller, managing partner at Novo Seeds said: “One of the great health challenges globally is related to ageing and obesity, and there are over 2.1 billion individuals who are characterised as obese or overweight.

AMRA’s approach provides technology to identify different classes of obesity and thereby potentially reveal high metabolic risk profiles. AMRA has the potential to play a vital role for research, clinical development and eventually patient management.”

Pfizer and Novo may be particularly interested in the technology as they have extensive R&D in the field of metabolic conditions. The former currently has seven cardiovascular and metabolic disease candidates in development, including one NASH treatment, three diabetes type 2 therapies, one acute coronary syndrome drug and two hyperlipidaemia candidates.

Novo’s pipeline is dominated by metabolic diseases, with seven diabetes drugs and five obesity candidates in development.

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