NEW YORK – Senzo announced on Monday that it has secured $1.9 million in equity funding, which the Philadelphia-based diagnostics developer will use to advance its Amplified Lateral Flow, or ALF, platform.
The ALF platform is a low-cost, point-of-care lateral flow system that incorporates a novel amplification step to increase accuracy. Senzo was awarded $750,000 in October from the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop an ALF COVID-19 assay.
Senzo will use the new funding to complete validation, execute clinical trials, secure Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, and scale manufacturing for the ALF COVID-19 test, the firm said in a statement.
The investment will also be used to advance research and development for assays to detect influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis C, and strep.
The funding was led by existing investors BioAdvance — an early-stage life sciences fund with a focus in the mid-Atlantic region — and corporate health and wellness service provider Wellness Coaches. It follows studies by University College London and UK-based lateral flow diagnostics consultancy LateralDx showing the ALF platform was 98 percent concordant with PCR in identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including in samples with viral loads above 30 Ct, according to Senzo.
"Whether for COVID-19, TB, flu, or a range of other diseases, there are patients in desperate need of better at-home, rapid-test diagnostics, and a huge market needing our tests," said Jeremy Stackawitz, CEO of Senzo Health. "This investment will help us bring this innovative technology to market even faster," he added.
Senzo plans to complete ALF COVID-19 clinical trials and secure EUA in the first half of 2023, with tests commercially available in the second half of the year.