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Guilford biotech Detect will get up to $30 million in federal funding to advance its combo COVID-19 and flu at-home test, the company announced Friday.
The funding comes in the form of a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), shepherded through the procurement process by Connecticut’s legislative delegation.
“This is our moon shot,” Detect founder Jonathan Rothberg told the crowd of media members and dignitaries squeezed into Detect’s R&D area. The combo test kit, which will include a reprogrammable hub to allow for upgrades to future variants, represents a breakthrough in the company’s technology, he said.
Rothberg said he plans to have the new testing technology ready for the market by the end of this year.
Detect’s breakthroughs were heralded at Friday’s event by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, House Appropriations Committee chair, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. DeLauro said she would continue work in Washington, D.C., to support Rothberg’s innovations.
Blumenthal called Detect’s new product “the iPhone of diagnostics,” holding up Detect’s current kit and an iPhone as illustration.
Detect's existing products, a reusable hub and single-use tests for COVID-19, went on sale on the company’s website in December and have seen strong demand from customers, Rothberg said.
Founded soon after the pandemic’s start, Detect raised $110 million in venture capital by the end of 2021 alone to scale up its COVID-19 test and develop future home tests.
Rothberg’s biotech innovations have been rewarding: Superyachts.com reported last week that two 55-meter yachts/floating laboratories belonging to the entrepreneur — named “Gene Machine” and “Gene Chaser” — will be showcased at the Miami Yacht Show this year.
Contact Liese Klein at email@example.com
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