Microba Life Sciences has signed a commercial agreement with Sonic Healthcare’s fully owned subsidiary Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology to supply the former’s advanced infectious disease test MetaPanel in Australia.

MetaPanel is said to be an advanced in-vitro diagnostic test to identify a range of pathogenic microorganisms responsible for gastrointestinal infectious disease.

It uses Microba’s metagenomics technology to diagnose infectious pathogens like bacteria, fungi, parasites, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) viruses.

Besides, MetaPanel helps to evaluate virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes to help in precise treatment decisions.

The MetaPanel distribution deal is the first commercial arrangement between both firms after Sonic Healthcare’s A$17.8m ($12m) investment in Microba in November 2022. Sonic Healthcare acquired a 19.99% stake in the Australia-based precision microbiome firm through the investment.

The initial parameters of the agreement included the launch of Microba’s microbiome diagnostic technology into Sonic Healthcare’s key markets.

This distribution agreement will provide the exclusive distribution rights to supply the MetaPanel test across Australia through the Sonic Healthcare Australia Pathology network.

According to the terms of the agreement, the initial term for the deal is three years. It can be extended for an additional two years on mutual decision by both parties.

Microba CEO Luke Reid said: “We are excited to be bringing Microba’s testing products to clinicians and their patients throughout Australia via Sonic Healthcare’s specialist national laboratory network.

“The MetaPanel technology was developed over many years and represents a world-first in pathology through comprehensive metagenomic testing for gastrointestinal infectious diseases.

“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.”

Furthermore, MetaPanel can help clinicians to avoid multiple, low-coverage, and sequential diagnostic tests that can affect treatment results for vulnerable patients.

In April this year, Sonic Healthcare announced the acquisition of German laboratory chain Diagnosticum for €190m.