Biotech company Senzo has just raised a $2 million round at a $20 million pre-money valuation to further expand options for lateral flow diagnostics. “Lateral flow” in this case is the same type of testing you’ve seen in home pregnancy or COVID-19 testing.
The company makes a product it calls Amplified Lateral Flow (ALF). For starters, it hopes to bring a COVID-19 rapid test home through regulatory approval and then bring it to market, but the company has a plethora of other tests in store.
The innovation is in the “enhanced” part of the ALF – the company recently announced promising results from a third-party study showing that the ALF COVID-19 antigen test was 100% accurate in accordance with PCR testing, even in cases with very low viral loads. That’s where other lateral flow tests at home often fall short and (part of) why we do PCR testing in the first place. As a result, the ALF technology enables better and earlier detection of viruses.
“Our vision at Senzo is clear: to diagnose disease as quickly, easily, inexpensively and accurately as taking a temperature or blood pressure reading,” Jeremy Stackawitz, CEO of Senzo, told BestFitnessBands in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the potential for accurate point-of-care diagnostics. Our ALF technology is turning that potential into reality in countless applications where more and earlier diagnoses result in better patient outcomes and more timely and cost-effective patient care.”
Senzo is also working on lateral flow tests for home and professional use for other applications. The company suggests that a wide variety of infections — including the flu, HIV, tuberculosis, strep, hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections and many viruses — may qualify for at-home testing. These diseases are usually diagnosed in central labs, with huge cost and time implications.
The company recently announced its $2 million equity financing round led by BioAdvance. Wellness coaches also participated in the round. The company tells me it raised with a pre-money valuation of $20 million and points out that that was a huge step up from its first-quarter 2021 fundraising valuation. The company views the round as pre-money. seed, suggesting it will spawn a larger Series A in early 2023.