Israeli operation grabs $2M for EU rollout of point-of-care blood count analyzer test

Israel's PixCell Medical Technologies grabbed $2 million in new financing to fuel European marketing efforts for its blood count analyzer test designed for point-of-care use. The money will also back a multi-center pilot study for the system.

The Israeli business newspaper Globes reported on the financing, which comes from an unnamed strategic investor.

A new cash infusion comes not long after PixCell obtained a CE mark for the cell-based diagnostics test, which is known formally as the HemoScreen Complete Blood Count analyzer. It is designed to take the whole point-of-care diagnostics process forward from what has been the norm--currently, most patients submit to complete blood work-ups as part of routine care and the process can take at least a few days as a lab processes the results. HemoScreen is both small and portable and built with self-contained, disposable cartridges. It also delivers results quickly (within 5 minutes) using a small amount of blood, covering blood characteristics including hemoglobin and white and red blood cells, with about 20 basic complete blood count testing areas overall, according to the story.

Beyond speed, the idea is also to make traditional blood work a lot more mobile. PixCell's test can be used in a doctor's office, a patient's home, at field units, in ambulances or in isolated regions that don't have sophisticated medical services, the story explained.

Previously, PixCell tested HemoScreen in preclinical studies and generated positive results, the story notes. A multi-center pilot study in Europe and Israel will build on that data.

HemoScreen is a relatively small company worth watching, in part because of its focus on point-of-care diagnostics, which is a growing area of focus among diagnostics companies both tiny and large.

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), for example, has generated rapid growth in its small but rapidly expanding point-of-care diagnostics business, capitalizing on the desire to make diagnostics tests more accessible and easier to use. Thermo Fisher ($TMO) has also been building its presence in the point-of-care space, among others. Also, researchers and companies alike have been boosting their efforts to develop cheap, easy-to-use point-of-care diagnostics for HIV and other infectious diseases that could help improve the standard of care in the developing world.

- read the Globes story