Mirvie, a prenatal diagnostics company has received a $4.6M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the company’s efforts to predict unexpected pregnancy complications before they happen by revealing the underlying biology of each pregnancy for women on a global scale. Specifically, the funding will help launch study sites in Cameroon, Ghana, and Zambia to understand preeclampsia among pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) using the Mirvie RNA platform via a simple blood test from the mom.
“We’re thrilled to have the support of the foundation as Mirvie works to predict and prevent pregnancy complications, allowing providers and patients to intervene before they become a crisis,” said Maneesh Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of Mirvie. “We’re excited to work with leading maternal-fetal health researchers, Drs. Alan Tita and Methodius Tuuli, to bring pregnancy health to the 21st century.
“The last year has brought meaningful forward progress for Mirvie, including receiving FDA Breakthrough Device Designation, one of only four recipients ever in the obstetrics space. We’re looking forward to building on the company’s strong momentum with this latest milestone,” added Jain.
Preeclampsia, a condition that affects 10 million women worldwide, disproportionately impacts mothers and infants in developing countries and is a major cause of maternal death. A study published in Nature found that Mirvie’s RNA platform can detect 75% of those who will develop preeclampsia, highlighting the potential impact of the company’s work.
“Diversity and inclusion in maternal health research, especially at a global scale, is critical if we want to create meaningful progress and interventions to curb maternal mortality,” said Dr. Alan Tita, Mary Heersink Endowed Chair of Global Health, Director of the Mary Heersink Institute of Global Health and the Marnix. E Heersink School of Medicine Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-lead researcher for the study. “We look forward to working with Mirvie on this research to potentially fill an unmet need and create healthier futures for women and their babies.”
“I hope that this research will underscore how state-of-the-art innovation in pregnancy health can contribute to the global good and unleash personalized medicine for maternal health in a way we have yet to see,” said Dr. Methodius Tuuli, Chace-Joukowsky Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and co-lead researcher for the study.
The Mirvie RNA platform uses machine learning to analyze tens of thousands of RNA messages from the baby, the placenta, and the mom. Founded in 2018, Mirvie has so far raised over $90M and is on a mission to reshape the future of pregnancy health by providing early detection capabilities for complications that could lead to lifelong health consequences for both infant and mother.