Microba Life Sciences has signed a distribution agreement with Sonic Healthcare through its wholly-owned subsidiary Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, for an advanced infectious disease test, MetaPanel.

This agreement follows the announcement of the A$17.8m ($11.8m) strategic investment by Sonic Healthcare in Microba in November last year.

During the investment time, both companies agreed on initial terms for a strategic partnership for the supplying of Microba’s microbiome testing technology in Sonic’s markets.

Sonic will distribute the MetaPaneltest exclusively across Australia through its pathology network.

Microba CEO Dr Luke Reid said: “Sonic Healthcare is a leading provider of high-quality pathology services and will lead the commercialisation efforts to deliver the MetaPanel test nationally.

“Sonic Australia is the first region to distribute Microba’s technology, with plans to deliver our testing technology and products into additional markets across the globe through our partnership.”

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MetaPanel is an in-vitro diagnostic designed to test causal agents of gastrointestinal infectious disease.

Leveraging the company’s metagenomics technology, the test will diagnose infectious pathogens such as DNA viruses, parasites, bacteria and fungi along with evaluation of antimicrobial resistance) genes and virulence factors to enable accurate treatment decisions.

Clinicians can use the test to avoid multiple, low-coverage and sequential diagnostic tests, which can affect outcomes for vulnerable patients.

Microba has worked with infectious disease experts and clinical microbiologists for designing the target list and supporting clinical validation.