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KOCH INVESTS: Scaling Up Rapid COVID-19 Tests with Sense Biodetection

November 17, 2021

min read

Koch Disruptive Technologies is leading a $15 million increase into the Series B funding round – now $65 million total – in Sense Biodetection to support the launch of its Veros™ COVID-19 product in the United States and Europe.

WHY IT MATTERS: Veros has the potential to be the first and only instrument-free, single-use, rapid, point-of-care platform for molecular diagnostic testing – detecting genetic material from the virus – that produces lab-quality results within 15 minutes. This has the potential to improve testing access for more people as well as help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

BY THE NUMBERS: The $15 million addition to April's original $50 million Series B round follows a study by Sense to support its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing clearance of its COVID-19 test.

THE BIG PICTURE: “Since our initial investment in Sense, we have witnessed the huge potential of the Veros platform and its promise to transform healthcare – and specifically its application for COVID-19 testing,” said Brett Chugg, senior managing director, Koch Disruptive Technologies. “We are enthusiastic about Sense’s future and its potential to change the way medical providers and patients approach healthcare, and we look forward to supporting the company as it seeks EUA and launches its first test.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: High costs, delays and requirements for expensive equipment and training have limited the scale of laboratory-based molecular methods. The increased funding and the submission for Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. FDA are two important milestones in bringing the solution to clinicians.

“People with suspected COVID-19 infection and other deadly and costly diseases must know quickly whether they are infected. Our aim is to overcome the barriers of current diagnostic testing with an easy-to-use, rapid, disposable molecular test,” said Timothy I. Still, CEO of Sense.

GO DEEPER: KDT's investments in Sense are part of its broader portfolio focused on healthcare innovations to help people improve their lives.

Koch’s relationship with Sense goes beyond these investments, too.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Phillips-Medisize – a medical technology subsidiary of Koch company Molex – and Sense collaborated to develop a pilot line of rapid influenza tests with the Veros platform. The team then pivoted to focus on a COVID-19 product.

Read the press release from Sense.