LightDeck Diagnostics Awarded $5.65 Million from BARDA to Develop a Rapid Antigen Test for SARS-CoV-2

LightDeck COVID-19 Antigen Test to Deliver Results in Under 6 minutes

Boulder, CO. February 21, 2021 – LightDeck Diagnostics announced today that it has been awarded a $5.65 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to develop an rapid antigen test to detect SARS-CoV-2. These funds will enable LightDeck Diagnostics to develop a point-of-care antigen test that delivers results in less than 6 minutes.

David Okrongly, Chief Science Officer at LightDeck Diagnostics commented, “To stop the spread of COVID-19 and put an end to this pandemic, we need a public health strategy that includes national testing with widespread, and frequent, on-the-spot lab-quality testing.” To detect infected individuals, rapid antigen tests represent an important adjunct to PCR testing, which can take days for results. The advantage of a rapid antigen test is that an infected individual can be detected and isolated in real time and contact tracing can be done right away.

The LightDeck COVID-19 Antigen Test leverages the highly sensitive and simple test procedure of waveguide technology with cost-effective manufacturing techniques to deliver an accurate, scalable test. The LightDeck antigen test will be a significantly faster alternative to the current PCR based diagnostic tests, and offer better sensitivity and specificity than the available lateral flow-based tests that require at least 15 minutes to deliver results.

“The LightDeck COVID-19 Antigen Test will build on the existing product platform,” said Chris Myatt, CEO and Founder of LightDeck Diagnostics. “Every minute matters when we’re dealing with infectious diseases. We believe our technology can provide an optimal solution to the current gaps in COVID-19 diagnostic testing on a national level.”

In October, LightDeck Diagnostics announced $11 million in Series B funding to support the development and commercialization of its in vitro multiplex tests for several panels, including COVID-19. Those funds, along with the BARDA contract (number 75A50121P00026), will enable the company to deliver on its vision of a comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy.

About LightDeck Diagnostics

LightDeck Diagnostics believes in a new approach to healthcare, where quick and accurate diagnostic tests will be run wherever and whenever they are needed, without compromise. The company’s proprietary LightDeck® platform combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials and patented manufacturing techniques to deliver lab-quality results anywhere, in minutes. LightDeck is  introducing a portfolio of in vitro diagnostic panels, the first is an on-the-spot test for COVID-19, followed by highly accurate, host-response panels to manage acute infections and sepsis, and next generation tests for heart attack triage. The LightDeck platform is also achieving success in veterinary diagnostics and for environmental testing. Learn more at

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