Verax pulls in $12M for next-gen test that spots bacteria in blood donations

Verax Medical pulled in $12 million in new funding designed to advance clinical studies and development of a new version of its test to detect bacteria in blood platelets before transfusion.

The Marlborough, MA, company declined to disclose specific investors, other than noting its current venture capital investors participated in the round.

Verax's Platelet PGD Test is FDA-cleared and designed to spot bacteria in blood platelets hours before transfusion, using its Pan Genera Detection technology. It works by spotting a number of shared antigens present in bacteria cell walls.

Right now, more than 100 hospitals in the U.S. and Europe use Verax Platelet PGD to test the safety of their blood platelet products before donation. Such a test is necessary, the company said, because bacteria levels a day after donation aren't always detectable by traditional culture tests. Verax is betting that bacterial detection diagnostics will continue to be a growth area for the industry.

CEO James Lousararian said in a statement that the funding will "permit Verax to aggressively capitalize on the opportunity present with our existing product, and it sets the stage for the introduction of our improved test that will offer significant advances of performance and ease of use."

Verax has said that its technology could also be useful for research, plus environmental and food testing.

As of almost a year ago, Verax was actively seeking to raise $5 million to boost marketing efforts for its initial Platelet PGD test. The company launched in 1999.

- read the release

Want more diagnostics coverage? Check out FierceDiagnostics, a weekly roundup of trends, analysis and need-to-know news across the industry. Subscribe