LightDeck secures $35M federal contract to fund rapid COVID test

By Christopher Wood  — July 8, 2021, BizWest

BOULDER — LightDeck Diagnostics, a Boulder-based diagnostic-testing company, has secured a $35.1 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to increase production capacity of its COVID-19 antibody test.

The contract was awarded July 6, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to a press release.

LightDeck Diagnostics is a trade name for mBio Diagnostics Inc. The company has developed the LightDeck testing platform that combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials to conduct rapid testing, and has developed numerous diagnostic tests, including some developed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DOD contract will fund expansion of production capacity for LightDeck’s SARS-CoV-2 Ultra-Rapid Antigen and COVID-19 Total Antibody Tests, which can deliver test results in five minutes.

With the funds, LightDeck said it expects to increase its domestic production capacity from 50,000 tests per month to 1 million tests monthly by September 2022.

“Our mission is to democratize access to diagnostics solutions that deliver speed without compromising accuracy,” LightDeck CEO Chris Myatt said in a prepared statement. “We’re honored to receive this contract from the DOD and HHS to drive our mission forward and continue to improve the state of our public health.” 

The contract is funded through HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

LightDeck previously secured a BARDA contract valued at $5.65 million to fund the COVID19 antigen test, with another $630,000 to fund the antibody test. 

The latest contract will take things a significant step further, ensuring that the company can quickly ramp up production of the tests once final regulatory approval is achieved.

LightDeck last year expanded its leased space at 5603 Arapahoe Ave., adding 10,000 square feet for a total of 27,000 square feet. But that’s not enough as the company ramps up production.

Nick Traggis, executive vice president of corporate development for LightDeck, said the $35.1 million contract will fund construction of a new, 60,000-square-foot facility, slated to be open by September 2022.

Boulder biotech company lands $35M government contract for Covid-19 testing, plans new facility

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