The capability for detecting up to 128 diseases from a finger prick of blood makes San Diego based Genalyte an interesting Biotechnology industry startup. Genalyte’s Maverick system presents a technology platform that quantifies molecules, including antibodies and proteins bound to silicon photonic biosensors. The biosensors detect changes in interaction between light circulating within the sensor and deposits on the sensor surface.
Established in 2007, the privately held firm focused on developing its silicon chip technology in the first few years. From the start, Genalyte’s goal is to have one drop of blood provide complete lab results in 15 minutes, eliminating waiting time and return visits. According to the company, the testing offers quality control and service equal to what a conventional laboratory service offers.
Currently, Genalyte’s technology helps pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers monitor autoimmune diseases, detect drug antibodies, screen for cancer biomarkers and test for infectious agents, such as Ebola.
Although, the pharma companies gave Genalyte an early market opportunity, the doctor’s office is the market they want; they are now in doctors’ offices conducting trials to compare their 15 minute results with clinical laboratory results received days later. Their advertised value is a complete solution bringing together the tests a doctor or specialist needs to solve the patient’s problem
Competitors such as Theranos and NOWDiagnostics propose testing in drug stores or screening technology. However, since their testing is not performed in doctor’s offices, physicians may not have confidence in the results making it more likely that they reorder the testing at additional cost to the patient or the insurance provider.
The company recently raised $44 million in a Series C funding round led by Khosla Ventures. As it moves further into the diagnostics space, Genalyte is concentrating on infectious and autoimmune disease testing but views vaccine rejection testing and immunogenicity testing as future companion diagnostic opportunities.
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