NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – TB Biosciences, which is developing a point-of-care test for the detection of tuberculosis, said today it has closed on its Series A financing round, raising $1.5 million.
The financing will be used to support product development and clinical trials.
Originate Ventures led the round, which also included investors Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the NYU Innovation Venture Fund. With recent funding from the National Institutes of Health, new funds total $2.5 million, the Bethlehem, Penn.-based company said.
TB Bio is developing a point-of-care test based on proteins that are present in humans with active TB, but not in patients with latent TB or people who don't have TB. The proteins were discovered through a genomic analysis of the tuberculosis bacteria, and the company is working to combine them with derived synthetic peptides into a multiplexed diagnostic format, it said on its website.
The test would be used in TB control programs in endemic countries, while in the US it would be used as an adjunct to rapidly identify active TB in high-risk populations, such as immigrants from certain areas where the disease is common, as well as in veterans returning from such regions.
The market for the test also would include prisons and homeless shelters, TB Bio said.
Preliminary data using samples from endemic nations has shown sensitivity of greater than 90 percent for the test, Sam Niedbala, CEO and co-founder of TB Bio said.
"Careful screening of expressed proteins has unlocked a powerful library of critical peptides, which will enable the company to target those with active tuberculosis in children, adults, and those co-infected with HIV," he said in a statement.