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MBio to Receive $1.5M in New DARPA Funding for Point-of-Care Diagnostic System

NEW YORK — MBio Diagnostics said on Monday that it will receive $1.5 million in new funding under a point-of-care immunoassay development contract with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

MBio is developing a portable multiplexed immunoassay system called LightDeck, which combines disposable multiplexed test cartridges with a fluorescent reader. In 2018, the company received a Phase II DARPA contract to develop human host-response biomarker assays for use on the platform to identify gravely ill or highly contagious individuals during a disease outbreak or in standard clinical settings.

The amount of Phase II funding was not disclosed, but Boulder, Colorado-based MBio said at the time that the contract, along with an earlier Phase I DARPA contract and funding from the National Institutes of Health, were worth up to $1.5 million.

Under the expanded contract, MBio stands to receive an additional $1.5 million from DARPA to support its clinical and regulatory activities ahead of filings with the US Food and Drug Administration.

"COVID-19 is showing just how challenging disease management can be when it is spread by people with mild symptoms," MBio COO Michael Lochhead said in a statement. "The blood tests we are developing with DARPA will be run on MBio's portable system, allowing use in small spaces with mobile testing teams."