American startup Nanopore Diagnostics has raised $600000 to develop The iNDxer, a device to detect bacterial infections. The money, provided by the Missouri Technology Corporation and other minor investors, will be allocated to conduct clinical trials that will validate the use of the Nanopore Diagnostics’ device by physicians.
Nanopore Diagnostics CEO Tom Cohen was mistakenly diagnosed an ear infection and received an antibiotic he didn’t need. As a result, he was infected with the multi-drug resistant Clostridium difficile and developed ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease of the large intestine. This unfortunate episode prompted him to start working on a medical device that would diagnose bacterial infections quickly and accurately, and allow physicians to take evidence-based decisions. This device, the iNDxer, would reduce the use of antibiotics and the resultant resistance. Public health spending on antibiotics, currently at $34 billion, would be also cut down.
A device that counts harmful bacteria
The iNDxer is based on Nanopore Diagnostics proprietary technology that would transform a nanopore into a platform that counts and sorts the unhealthy microorganisms in a sample. The nanopore sensor counts nucleic acid biomarkers in minimally processed samples, identifying harmful bacteria or viruses qualitatively and quantitatively in only 30 minutes. The device would be very convenient for point-of-care testing due to its high portability.
If the iNDxer’s clinical trials data is satisfactory, Nanopore Diagnostics will try to secure a Series A round of financing – usually between $3-7 million. Cohen plans to release the device in 2018.