11 December 2018, Sarah-Jane Tasker
This article originally appeared in The Australian, print and online, on 11th December 2018. View the original here on The Australian Website.
Brisbane medical diagnostics company Ellume has signed a significant deal with pharmaceutical giant GSK for digital consumer products, ahead of a potential market listing. Ellume founder and managing directory Sean Parsons said the global deal was the biggest of its kind in Australia.
“A GSK deal of this type is a pivotal change for a business like Ellume,” Dr Parsons said.
“It will enable the product to scale into a global market and it provides an external validation of the quality of the technology.”
The strategic partnership is with GSK’s consumer arm and is believed to be focused on respiratory care.
Dr Parsons said the company was focused on the US market, which had a reimbursement system and healthcare system that was set up for new technologies.
He added that Ellume retained the rights to secure a partnership with another company in a different healthcare space. He expected a new deal to be announced next month.
Dr Parsons, who trained in critical care, said the technology the company had created integrated a diagnosis and the tests made in that diagnosis, with a pathway for the best treatment for an illness.
“We have taken the approach in consumer
products of solving one problem really well,” he said.
“We want to create consumer diagnostics that can diagnose that person with a test as accurate as we can make it and educate the person about their illness, connect them to the best therapy they require and facilitate time off work if they need that.
“We want to solve that one problem really well and do that with a combination of the diagnostics piece and the digital piece.”
Dr Parsons, who founded the company in 2010, said the key to the company’s survival was connecting with chairman Paul Darrouzet, who brought with him high-net-worth individuals who provided financial backing.
Mr Darrouzet made his fortune in a Queensland coal deal with Anglo American at the height of the mining boom.
“Paul is a true entrepreneur and a genuine leader. He has been pivotal in supporting me and the team as we have invented this technology,” Dr Parsons said. “There were dark days along the way when the technology wasn’t working and Paul stood shoulder to shoulder as we sorted it out.”
Dr Parsons said Ellume had also designed products for professional use in common infectious diseases. He said the idea was for clinicians to have a laboratory-sensitive instrument to diagnose their patients in that visit. Ellume plans to commercialise that product on its own.
The company founder said he would seek a market listing in the next 12 to 18 months to attract the capital needed to scale up the commercialisation of the professional-use product in the US.
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