Pfizer leads $21M Series B for a Michigan molecular Dx startup

Pfizer's ($PFE) venture investment arm is the lead backer in NeuMoDx Molecular's new $21 million Series B round. The Michigan startup attracted a new batch of financing designed to propel development of a highly efficient, low-cost molecular diagnostics platform and tests that can be run on it.

Baird Capital, Venture Investors and previous investor Arboretum Ventures also participated in the round. NeuMoDx, which launched in 2012, previously raised a $5 million Series A funding round that included Arboretum and Wolverine Venture Fund, a student-led VC fund at the University of Michigan.

Here's what's drawing all the investor attention: NeuMoDx's 500 Molecular IVD System, tech designed to perform both RNA and DNA-based diagnostic assays. The system aims to make this kind of testing ubiquitous and easy to use, with higher performance and much lower cost than other systems used for nucleic acid diagnostic testing. It blends magnetic particle affinity capture and real-time polymerase chain reaction chemistry in a multisample microfluidic cartridge, according to the company's website, and much of the processing is automated.

"We have made excellent progress over the past 24 months and are now ready to accelerate development and validation" of the testing platform, NeuMoDx founder and CEO Jeff Williams said in a statement. "The molecular diagnostic market continues to grow, and we see a great unmet opportunity for a system with improved workflow and lower cost per test."

The company said on its website that the goal will be to focus on the largest and most profitable molecular diagnostic tests rather than lower-volume tests on the edges of the market. Plans call for targeting central laboratories as primary customers, "where the vast majority of testing occurs today and will likely remain in the future," NeuMoDx explained on its website.

NeuMoDx's system is designed to store up to 30 different assays and process more than 500 samples every 8 hours. It will produce initial results in an hour or less, the company said.

- read the release

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