NEW YORK ─ Swedish startup Capitainer on Tuesday announced that it has closed on SEK 31 million ($3.7 million) in financing to roll out its qDBS dried-blood-spot testing system.
Stockholm-based Capitainer said the investment comes as it anticipates an increase in demand for dried blood spot sampling for antibody testing to confirm COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. It will use the funds to ramp up production capacity and build a European sales and marketing network.
The fund raise was led by Sciety, a Swedish life science investor, and included current and new investors in Capitainer.
Capitainer’s qDBS system enables patients to collect a dried blood spot at home. Patients place a droplet of blood over an inlet port on a qDBS card. That automatically fills a microchannel with the required amount of sample and discards any excess.
Blood in the microchannel automatically transfers to a specimen collection membrane, forming a high-quality dried blood spot sample available for quantitative bioanalysis, Capitainer said. The filled card can then be safely transported to the point of testing without the need for refrigeration or specialized packaging.
"We believe qDBS provides a solution to the challenge of mass population sample collection to assess the efficacy of the various vaccines now being introduced to generate antibodies against the coronavirus," Capitainer Chairman Ernst Westman said in a statement.
Last September the firm announced that it had inked a distribution deal with Speciality Diagnostix to distribute Capitainer qDBS in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
In March, it closed on SEK 15 million in financing to support the commercialization of the dried-blood-spot sampling product.