E25Bio: Developing Accurate, Affordable Tests for COVID-19
March 28, 2020 | Scott Murphy
VENTURE VERSUS THE VIRUS
In times like this, we all need to hear — and share — constructive news about work being done to tackle problems caused by COVID-19. Here’s what some AVG portfolio companies are contributing.
Today’s Portfolio Company: E25Bio
We’ve all seen, firsthand, how critical diagnostic testing can be. Our portfolio company E25Bio has developed technology to more quickly, accurately, and affordably diagnose diseases such as dengue and zika. They use nanoparticle technology to capture virus or viral proteins secreted into the human body and deliver results in 15 minutes or less. Powered by a recent round led by Khosla Ventures, E25Bio is directing its attention to developing a similar test for COVID-19.
Accurate, Affordable Tests for COVID-19
E25Bio is testing their COVID-19 detector on human samples and aims to have their tests ready for market in late April (pending regulatory approval). The tests, with a target price below $30, should be faster and more accurate than alternatives. As CTO Dr. Irene Bosch explains in a release, “The same way a hormone is detected on a pregnancy test, our diagnostics provides doctors and patients with results in 15 minutes or less.”
NBC’s Boston Station Features E25Bio
From the article: “Irene Bosch, Co-Founder of E25Bio, says her Cambridge-based laboratory could help solve the coronavirus testing problem with its technology. ‘The objective of this company is to produce an early and fast detection of a virus that causes an epidemic,’ Bosch said. ‘So our technology, it’s just like a pregnancy test.’ ”
- Treating increasingly common diseases in low-income and developing communities: More than a billion people are infected with one or one of the NTDs (Neglected Tropical Diseases) detected by E25Bio.
- Provide rapid diagnosis in time to save lives and tracks test results in geolocations: E25Bio will offer the only test that identifies an active virus/disease in time (<15 mins.) to respond clinically and intervene to save the lives of those with severe symptoms. In addition, their app can be used to capture geolocalized test results for real-time data tracking.
- Offer a less expensive and easier solution that is also self-care: The E25Bio test kit is small, portable, and requires just a drop of blood. It doesn’t need a health or lab technician to use it or read results. Kits will be $16-$80, vs. the $100+ for other alternatives.
Alumni Ventures Group’s fund for the MIT community, Castor Ventures, led AVG’s investment in E25Bio in 2019, with participation from AVG’s Blue Ivy Ventures (Yale alums). E25Bio is powered by The Engine, a home for Tough Tech founders (located near MIT). The Engine is a natural partner for Castor Ventures, and AVG has co-invested with The Engine in several ventures.
Alumni Ventures Group provides smart, simple venture portfolios with community to accredited individuals. PitchBook listed AVG as the third most active VC firm in the US and the seventh most active in the world (2019).