Babson Diagnostics draws in $31M for its pharmacy blood collection hardware

After kicking off clinical testing late last year, Babson Diagnostics has scored $31 million in new funding to help complete the development of its quick blood draw device, designed to bring easier sample collections to pharmacies and grocery store clinics.

The company counts two of the world’s largest medtechs as its benefactors. After being incubated at Siemens Healthineers, Babson is building its device in collaboration with BD. The trio hopes to see routine blood testing become more widely accessible, with a reliance on small-volume, capillary-based draws that do not sacrifice the accuracy that comes with standard venipuncture.

Previous attempts at increasing the use of fingerstick blood testing for commonly ordered medical tests ran into quality issues, as the act of squeezing out drops of blood can contaminate or alter the sample. Babson’s device aims to coax out the blood without using the same pressure.

“The complex world of blood testing has resisted historical disruption efforts based on single-technology point solutions,” said Eric Olson, founder, chairman and chief operating officer of Babson. The company plans to deploy a comprehensive system encompassing collection, sample handling and software-based analysis and delivery of results.

The series B round for Babson, a 2020 Fierce 15 winner, was led by Emerald Development Managers with additional backing from Siemens Healthineers, Prism Ventures and Lago Consulting Group.

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“Babson’s unique diagnostics ecosystem will enable mainstream adoption of diagnostic blood testing using microsamples easily collected at highly accessible and convenient locations,” said CEO David Stein, who joined the company last fall alongside the closing of its $13.7 million series A round. 

“The additional capital will enable us to further scale the company and our disruptive solutions for regulatory approval, commercial launch and nationwide rollout,” Stein said in a statement

The Texas-based company said it has completed a pivotal clinical study of participants in a retail pharmacy, showing its device could provide accurate results without the need for needles, tubes or trained phlebotomists at a patient service center. 

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Babson’s device aims to collect a pea-sized amount of blood, or about one-tenth what’s typically taken in a standard draw. At the same time, it’s building its own assays for metabolic panels and other commonly ordered blood tests, designed for such small samples.

Now, with the latest proceeds, Babson plans to expand its in-house laboratory infrastructure, finalize its blood collection device and add to its sales and marketing staff.