NEW YORK — Angstrom Bio said on Wednesday that it has secured a $3 million investment that it will use to launch a nanopore sequencing-based test that simultaneously detects SARS-CoV-2 infection and identifies variants of the virus and to develop a multiplexed panel for respiratory pathogens.
The investment was led by GreyBird Ventures. In connection with the financing, GreyBird cofounders Scott Gazelle and Tom Miller have joined Angstrom's board of directors.
Angstrom was founded in 2019 to develop antibody therapeutics but pivoted to SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics at the start of the pandemic. The Austin, Texas-based company uses a technology, dubbed AMPD, that combines a library prep step that introduces short barcodes to PCR products with bioinformatics to demultiplex reads and perform error correction on sequencing data from Oxford Nanopore platforms.
In addition to the SARS-CoV-2 and variant identification test, Angstrom is developing a respiratory panel for the differential diagnosis of common respiratory pathogens including SARS-CoV-2 and other endemic coronaviruses, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza, and adenovirus, as well as several other viruses and bacteria.
"By leveraging the extreme sample throughput, broad target multiplexing, nucleotide-level resolution, and low cost of nanopore third-generation sequencing, our AMPD platform enables a new class of information-rich, sequencing-based molecular diagnostics that can save and improve lives across a broad range of healthcare settings," Angstrom CEO Carlos Santos said in a statement.
Angstrom expects to launch the SARS-CoV-2 test early next month as a laboratory-developed test (LDT) and later file for Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. The respiratory panel is expected to be available in early autumn, also as an LDT.
Both tests will initially be performed at a CLIA high-complexity lab in Austin in partnership with TeVido BioDevices, Angstrom said.