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23 November 2017

Vigilant Diagnostics detects seed round

University of Minnesota spinout Vigilant Diagnostics has closed a seed round that featured an unnamed Chinese investor.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Vigilant Diagnostics, a US-based spinout from University of Minnesota working on detection technology for infectious diseases, has closed a seed round of undisclosed size, Twin Cities Business reported yesterday.

The round featured an undisclosed Chinese investor and came in addition to a $300,000 phase 1 commercialisation grant provided by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.

Founded in 2014, Vigilant Diagnostics is working on technology dubbed Thermal Contrast Amplification, which the spinout claims will increase the accuracy of existing blood and urine tests for infectious diseases such as the flu and malaria up to eightfold.

The technology is based on research by John Bischof, professor of mechanical engineering and interim director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine at Minnesota, and Warren Chan, a researcher at University of Toronto, as well as several colleagues.

The spinout is now gearing up for its series A round, and will use the NIH grant to develop a hand-held Thermal Contrast Amplification reader to be used in the field. The nature of its seed investor means the company will focus on China as its initial focus.

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