LightDeck diagnostics raises $11 Million series B to offer five-minute affordable COVID-19 tests, taking the ‘point-of-care’ anywhere

Led by a combination of laser experts and Abbott and Bayer vets, the company aims to offer ‘speed without compromise’ with on-the-spot, highly-accurate COVID, heart attack and sepsis tests

LightDeck Diagnostics announced $11 million in Series B financing from Incubic, Entrada and Boulder Ventures. The funds will support the development and commercialization of in vitro multiplex tests for COVID-19, host-response panels for acute infections, sepsis and cardiac markers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the lack of access to quick, affordable, lab-quality testing. Long turnaround times have hampered efforts to effectively perform contact tracing, which has allowed the virus to spread. Fast, on-the-spot screening tests are key to correcting this, with experts predicting it would take only weeks to surmount viral outbreaks with this level of testing. In addition, as pharmaceutical companies race to deploy a vaccine, antibody testing will help clinicians evaluate patients’ immune response.

LightDeck: Laser Technology for Highly-Accurate, Low-Cost Diagnostics in Minutes

Leveraging a precise but little-known laser technology called a planar waveguide, LightDeck’s platform offers on-the-spot, lab-quality diagnostics that can be deployed almost anywhere — from emergency departments, to nursing homes, schools, airports, and more. Combining the high sensitivity and simple workflow of the waveguide with cost-effective manufacturing, LightDeck empowers broad access to advanced testing within minutes, all at an affordable cost. With applications across veterinary, environmental, and now human care panels like COVID-19, the LightDeck Analyzer offers:

  • Lab Quality: Highly sensitive and specific tests that deliver lab-quality performance
  • Simple Workflow: Simple test procedure requires no special training
  • Quick + Quantitative Results: Actionable data in as little as five minutes to inform treatment decisions
  • Multiplex Performance: Multiple related tests for better patient experience; efficiency and internal quality control to maximize confidence

LightDeck Diagnostics believes in a comprehensive testing strategy to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and will use the funds to scale its total antibody test and finish product development of its rapid-antigen test, both delivering the necessary sensitivity without compromising speed and scalability.

Waveguide technology has long been recognized as a valuable medium for diagnostics, but previously required an expensive, resource-intensive manufacturing process, it was never possible to deploy it at scale. That’s where LightDeck comes in,” explained Chris Myatt, PhD, founder and CEO. “COVID-19 has illustrated the major need for broadly accessible, on-the-spot testing. With this latest funding, we look forward to driving that access and taking the ‘point-of-care’ anywhere.”

LightDeck’s team — a rare combination of diagnostics and laser optics veterans — has built its platform quietly over the past decade formerly under the name MBio Diagnostics, securing 30 patents and funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Army, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Its rebrand to LightDeck reflects its focus on its unique technology. The platform has already been successfully leveraged for environmental testing around water quality and veterinary diagnostics in partnership with Heska.

This team at LightDeck combines expertise from diagnostic industry veterans with strong clinical backgrounds and the best minds in laser optics,” said Michael Chang, Managing Director at Incubic. “It’s a winning combination and a company well-positioned for growth through the pandemic and beyond.”