The Umeå-derived invention has taken nine years to go from idea to approved product for sale. Pernilla Abrahamsson, the creator of OnZurf Probe, has successfully ushered her innovation all the way from that moment of serendipity to CE-approval – the final milestone before launch.

OnZurf Probe is a diagnostic monitoring tool for localised continuous diagnostics of patients that have undergone surgery. The product gives medical staff a direct insight on how well the healing process is proceeding, and the ability to quickly detect if anything is our of the ordinary. This way, post-operative complications can be avoided, saving human lives, additional health care resources and unnecessary suffering.

From failed experiment to clinical innovation

It all started with a failed experiment. Pernilla Abrahamsson was conducting a monitoring experiment of the function of a live organ, when the probe, traditionally inserted into the organ, fell out half way through the measurement. Disappointed, she was about to discard the results, but instead noticed that here was no clear break in the data when she examined the timeline.

Pernilla Abrahamsson realised that maybe the invasive procedure was not necessary for monitoring – and that there might be a better way to study the state of organs with a smarter tool – a tool located on the surface on a organ. In 2010 she defended her thesis in anaesthesiology, and one year later her innovation project was accepted to Umeå Biotech Incubator, giving her the opportunity to engage fully in developing her idea.

In 2013 the case was awarded a Vinnova grant and in 2015 the small startup merged with the stronger Uppsala-based medtech company Senzime.

Financing, prizes and paperwork

The same year Pernilla Abrahamsson received the prize “Spinoff Company of the Year 2015” Award at Umeågalan, and now – 2017 – her innovation has officially gotten the go-ahead for sales in the European market.

– I have learned so much along the way, that it’s hard to sum up right now. But the CE-marking process has really given me many new insights as it was tough and complicated, says Pernilla Abrahamsson.

Besides the bureaucracy, her main concern over the development years have been financing.

– Although I’ve been very fortunate with funding, it’s constant worry for a startup, she says.

Stronger together as part of Senzime

Now it is finally time for her innovation to start helping clinicians in practice – nine years after the idea was born.
– The CE mark of OnZurf Probe is an important milestone for Senzime and we will immediately initiate launch in Europe, says Lena Söderström, CEO of Senzime AB.

In addition, the OnZurf Probe is also being tested clinically in trials around Europe – both as a stand-alone sampler and in combination with the analyzer CliniSenz – allowing for in situ real-time organ monitoring. The company’s analyzer CliniSenz is expected to receive CE approval in the second part of 2018.

Since 2016, Pernilla Abrahamsson holds the position as Marketing and Sales Director at Senzime and her vision is to improve the quality of post-operative treatment in hospitals worldwide.

– We want patients to receive better care, by detecting complications earlier and thus avoiding serious illness and disease, she concludes.

Contact info for more information: 
Lena Söderström, CEO of Senzime AB
Tel: +46 708-16 39 12
E-mail: lena.soderstrom@senzime.com

Text: Carolina Hawranek
Photo: Farah Sohrabi