Massachusetts' Verax Medical has pulled in $3.3 million of a $5 million funding round, looking to market its blood platelet contamination test.
Verax makes the Platelet PGD Test, an FDA-cleared diagnostic that can detect bacterial contamination in blood platelets hours before transfusion, MedCity News reports. The test uses Verax's Pan Genera Detection technology, and the company is developing similar options that would test red blood cells, stem cells and leukocytes.
The system works by detecting the broad array of shared antigens present in the cell walls of bacteria. Verax's technology binds to these antigens when they're present, allowing physicians to see whether samples are contaminated. Beyond its diagnostic applications, Verax believes Pan Genera can eventually be used for food testing, environmental testing and research purposes.
So far, about 150 hospitals use Verax's test, MedCity News notes, and the company believes bacterial detection diagnostics will be a major growth area moving forward.