Sön 5 dec / År 39 / Nr 4 2021

The only way to be certain is to analyse

The best form of nutrition for all babies is human milk. When caring for preterm babies it is essential to measure the level of nutrition regularly. Hence, there is a need to analyse the properties of human milk given to preterm babies. Swedish medtech company Miris has developed a tool to perform this task.

As there is no such thing as standard human milk – or an average preterm baby, there is a critical need for analysing the nutrition values of human milk. Doctors and nurses who deal with preterm babies must feel secure in the knowledge that the milk given to these babies is the very best in terms of nutrition.
Over the past ten years, Miris has developed a medical tool to test and analyse human milk. The equipment is based on a tool that was initially developed to analyse cow’s milk in a commercial sense. Although there was always a lot of know-how and a high level of technology embedded in Miris, the company had a rocky start.
“There was never any doubt in that the market cried out for the product – and the innovation was good. The problem was tied to the ability to make good business out of a complex idea. The founders were fond of their research but when it came to the business side of things, it was another matter altogether”, current CEO Ulf Boberg explains.

The challenges – and opportunities
Ulf Boberg decided to join the team in 2014, as he had identified a great potential in the company. The first of three main challenges that he could point out were tied to the production process, which was still at prototype level. The second challenge revolved around sales and marketing activities – Miris had limited activities and mainly relied on established contacts and word of mouth. The third challenge was the lack of initiative to submit an application to the FDA although it had been stated key strategy.
“With the support from the board of directors I started to redirect the route, redrawing the map as I planned for the FDA-application, for a better production process and thus higher quality in the final product and the establishment of a proper sales strategy – all at once as I took this position in June 2014”, says Ulf Boberg. “Two years on, we are now well underway with all three; the application to the FDA has been submitted, better quality has been installed in the Miris production line and we also have several agreements with distributors world-wide”.

All for quality
The company Miris is in itself a great example of how multiple disciplines can converge. The commercial dairy industry meets health care – all in the same company. The need to analyse the quality of the milk is equally important in both. The dairy industry seeks to obtain higher quality – as do health care providers.
Miris is ready for a wider market launch and are aiming for the USA, one of the world’s largest markets with the highest frequency of preterm babies born. “We do not know when we will receive approval from the FDA, but what we have learnt during this journey so far is that we must safeguard quality. The need for analysing human milk is likely to expand world-wide and we are ready to take part in that”, Ulf Boberg concludes.