E25Bio, rapid diagnostic innovators, announces award funding of $4.14M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $1.68M from the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The pair of funding awards comes months after the startup announces funding from Khosla Ventures to develop and commercialize a rapid, inexpensive diagnostic for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched in 2000, the Gates Foundation focuses on improving global health and reducing inequality. The foundation’s grant will help E25Bio continue research and development on its rapid COVID-19 test, generate a coronavirus monoclonal antibody repository for future diagnostic efforts, and develop its mobile app to track and map disease data in real-time to provide the public with tools for informed decision-making around pandemic prevention.
The NIH’s SBIR program, founded by Congress in 1982, encourages small businesses to partake in innovative research projects that have the potential for commercialization. The grant supports the company’s prior and current work in developing rapid diagnostic tests for dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses; in April the Colombian regulatory agency, INVIMA, approved the company’s first product, Dengue SimPlexTM, for sale in the country. E25Bio is now preparing to launch Dengue SimPlexTM and expand upon their diagnostic portfolio.
"Infectious disease surveillance should prioritize affordability, accessibility, and sample to result time, especially during outbreak scenarios such as the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Bobby Brooke Herrera, co-founder and CEO of E25Bio. "Our platform has enabled development of low-cost, paper-based rapid tests for COVID-19, Zika and other outbreak diseases that can be self-administered across entire communities in the United States and beyond. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NIH awards will help us bring our solutions to the market and democratize first-line defense against these diseases."
Founded in 2018 and based out of The Engine, the company spun out of MIT using technology developed by Dr. Irene Bosch and Dr. Lee Gehrke, the Hermann von Helmholtz Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT. E25Bio develops technology for rapid diagnosis of dangerous infectious diseases such as dengue, Zika, and now the novel coronavirus and utilizes a mobile application to track disease data information in real time.
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