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Biosensor Firm Grapheal Raises €1.9M, Plans to Develop SARS-CoV-2 Test

NEW YORK — French biosensor developer Grapheal said on Tuesday that it has raised €1.9 million ($2.3 million) that it will use in part to support the development of a saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 antigen test.

The funding includes seed money from Novalis Biotech's Acceleration Fund, grants, and convertible notes and loans from French investment bank Bpifrance.

Grapheal, based in Grenoble, was founded in 2019 as a spinoff from the Institut Néel at the French National Center for Scientific Research to develop wearable graphene-based biosensor patch technology that can be used to electronically monitor wound healing. With the new funding, the firm said it will continue working on its wound care product, called WoundLab, as well as advance a SARS-CoV-2 screening test called TestNPass designed for high-traffic areas such as airports and stadiums.

According to Grapheal, TestNPass is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens in saliva samples, providing a readout on a smartphone or a standard near-field communication-connected device within five minutes.

"With this funding in place, we believe our first product could be on the market before the end of 2021," Grapheal CEO Vincent Bouchiat said in a statement.