Founder's Blog

LightDeck® Diagnostics Raises $11 Million Series B to Bring Speed without Compromise to Diagnostics

By Chris Myatt, PhD, Founder and CEO of LightDeck Diagnostics

At LightDeck® Diagnostics we believe in a new approach to healthcare, where quick and accurate central lab-quality diagnostic tests will be run wherever and whenever they are needed, without compromise. The COVID-19 pandemic has further illustrated the urgent need for broadly accessible, on-the-spot-testing. Today, we’re one step closer to making this testing reality with $11 million in Series B funding to support the commercialization of in vitro multiplex tests for COVID-19, host-response panels for acute infections, sepsis and cardiac markers.

The testing challenge

In the race to ramp up testing capacity to contain the spread of COVID-19, many rapid-form diagnostic tests compromise accuracy for speed. While much of the attention has been put on antigen and molecular testing, there is an equally urgent need for faster antibody tests. Antibody tests help public health officials understand how the virus has spread throughout a population and can aid in clinical trials to establish the effectiveness of any vaccine.

Speed without compromise    

As a COVID-19 vaccine may soon be a reality, we see an increasing demand by individuals and healthcare providers for on-the-spot antibody tests to make quick, accurate treatment decisions. Our LightDeck® platform leverages a precise but little-known laser technology called a planar waveguide. We’ve combined the high sensitivity and simple workflow enabled by the waveguide with cost-effective manufacturing to offer on-the-spot, lab-quality diagnostics that can be deployed almost anywhere. Imagine not only having access to on-the-spot diagnostics in emergency departments and nursing homes, but also across the nation at schools, airports, and sporting events as our states attempt to reopen.

Our proprietary technology has been perfected and validated for over 15 years to ensure we can offer the fastest and most accurate diagnostic test for our consumers, with demonstrated success across veterinary diagnostics and environmental testing. The technology is mature and versatile, allowing our team to spin up new, extended applications on a single platform within just months.

We have already developed a handheld, lab-quality antibody test that can easily scale for use anywhere – like your neighborhood pharmacy – to monitor and ensure immune response following vaccination. And with this new round of funding, we’ll move forward with commercialization and scale to develop the first quick and accurate COVID-19 antigen test using our planar waveguide technology.

Realizing a ‘test anywhere’ world

In July 2020, MBio Diagnostics merged with Brava Diagnostics and our combined companies formed LightDeck® Diagnostics. With the merger, we’ve brought together a team of clinical diagnostic and laser optic veterans who have worked across life sciences and photonics companies such as Bayer Diagnostics, Abbott, Siemens, and others. Together, with the guidance from our strategic investors, we are racing full speed ahead to commercialize our in-vitro product suite and provide patients with a diagnostic test to give them critical insight into their health in minutes.