FORT COLLINS — Burst Diagnostics Inc., a startup that works in the rapid diagnostics industry, has closed a successful seed-stage investment. The round was led by Innosphere Ventures Fund, a venture capital firm leading early-stage investments in B2B software as a service, cleantech and medtech enterprises. The round was backed by Zymo Research Corp., an Irvine, California-based life sciences enterprise with a commercial portfolio of molecular tools.
The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Burst Diagnostics will use the money to shift its platform from a working prototype to a commercial system that it hopes will disrupt the $45 billion point-of-care diagnostics industry.
“The tests we are building are simple, convenient, and inexpensive like rapid antigen tests but capable of producing laboratory-quality data with the level of sensitivity and accuracy previously exclusive to central lab run tests,” Charles Henry, founder, CEO and professor at Colorado State University, said in a written statement.
According to information from Burst, the platform is based on a novel microfluidic cartridge capable of miniaturizing and integrating all of the classic steps performed in the clinical laboratory setting (including washing and signal amplification) in a hand-held device. “Through a collaboration with Zymo Research, Burst Diagnostics has pushed its core technology even further, achieving sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities not yet reported for any antigen-based point-of-care tests on the market,” the company said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was the equivalent of the moon mission for molecular biology. With the advances in our industry over the last several years, no one needs to compromise between convenience and test performance,” Rose Nash, chief operating officer and scientist at Burst Diagnostics, said in a statement. “We have a radical new technology and with it, we will challenge the limitations associated with antigen tests as we know them,” she said.
“Our mission at Burst Diagnostics is to bridge this sensitivity gap and bring more confidence to rapid, point-of-care and at-home tests,” said Henry. “We are excited to partner with Innosphere Ventures Fund and Zymo Research to bring this technology to market and explore additional applications in which rapid, ultra-sensitive, and reliable microbial, viral, and/or biomarker measurements are in demand.”
“Innosphere Ventures Fund is excited to partner with Burst Diagnostics as it revolutionizes the point-of-care market. We are thrilled to see it achieve such great results and look forward to it bringing these significant benefits to the world,” said Innosphere Ventures Fund principal Tim Jones.
“The development of this new highly-sensitive technology will revolutionize protein-based detection and be a game-changer in the health care industry, allowing for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment of diseases,” said Larry Jia, CEO of Zymo Research.
Burst and Zymo were connected through the National Institutes of Health, which funded early development of the platform.
“It was evident in our first meeting at Zymo’s headquarters that we were embarking on a very productive partnership,” said Nash. The two companies hold a shared vision for the future of diagnostics and are extremely technology focused, each with leading scientist-CEOs at the helm, she said.
“Our cultures just really match,” Nash said. “Our teams work well together, and I think all of us occasionally step back and admire how quickly what we are building is coming together. That can only happen when a team is playing to everyone’s strengths.”