NEW YORK – E25Bio said today that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding to develop a rapid diagnostic technology that people can use at home to detect active dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses.
The Engine, launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to invest in early-stage technology companies, led the investment round. Alumni Ventures Group and angel investor Alejandro Chavez also participated.
E25Bio, founded in 2018 based on technology licensed from MIT, said that it is developing a paper-based diagnostic test platform that can reduce testing time to detect mosquito-borne illnesses from days to minutes.
It anticipates that its first product will be an over-the-counter test for patients with fever. The fever panel will enable rapid screening for active viruses and infectious diseases in time for clinicians to administer potentially lifesaving treatments, the firm said.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based E25Bio said it has completed clinical studies and initiated submissions for regulatory clearance in target geographic regions. Company CEO Jeff Takle noted in a statement that currently there are outbreaks of mosquito-borne infectious diseases in the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Brazil.
Viruses transmitted by the Aedes genus of mosquitoes, such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika, are responsible for acute febrile illnesses that affect nearly 700 million people each year worldwide. In severe cases, complications can range from often fatal bleeding disorders to musculoskeletal and neurological syndromes, E25Bio said.