|Illustration of how the Maverick Detection System works--Courtesy of Genalyte|
Move over Theranos, here comes Genalyte. The former has made a big splash in the last year as it works to make diagnostics that are cheaper, require only a drop of blood and directly available to consumers--but the latter is almost ready to make its gambit to offer a device for rapid diagnostic testing in the physician office using a single blood drop.
Now, Genalyte has nabbed a $44 million Series C round led by Khosla Ventures to finalize its Maverick platform designed for the physician office setting. The company will also use the cash to conduct clinical studies intended to establish "the accuracy of its device and its suitability for use in a near-patient setting," it said in a statement.
"Timely access to more diagnostic and health data, combined with computational tools to digest this information will create more efficient medicine and provide better healthcare," said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, in a statement. "We assessed a large number of emerging diagnostic technologies and believe that Genalyte has the potential to fuel this transition."
The Genalyte Maverick Detection System is designed for the application of a blood drop onto a silicon microchip; it can offer a complete diagnostic panel using up to 30 assays with results in 15 minutes, according to the company. The system is based upon the real-time detection of macromolecules using silicon photonic biosensors that are lithographically printed on disposable silicon chips. No incubation time or additional reagents and washing are required.
Genalyte was founded in 2007. It nabbed a CE mark for the system in 2013, which it says has been "thoroughly vetted" through its use in drug development at major biopharmas. The startup offers autoimmune antigen panels for the detection of auto-antibodies associated with a range of connective tissue diseases, as well as an immunogenicity panel to detect, confirm and characterize anti-drug antibodies.
Existing investors Redmile Group, Claremont Creek Ventures, and BioMed Realty Ventures also participated in the latest financing.
"There is an enormous opportunity to improve our healthcare system by providing diagnostic results at the time and place they need to be delivered--when the patient is sitting in front of the doctor," summed up Genalyte founder, President and CEO Cary Gunn. "Our technology allows us to eliminate a number of inefficiencies from the system, such as the secondary appointment to have blood drawn, the large quantity of blood required, the long wait for results, and the game of phone tag you play with your doctor when results finally do arrive."
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