Vigilant Diagnostics LLC, founded in 2014, is developing patented thermal contrast technology that increases the sensitivity of Lateral Flow Assays (LFAs) by 10 to 30 times, allowing for faster and more accurate diagnostic results, with fewer false negatives and false positives.
Lateral flow assays have been used in clinical settings since the development of the pregnancy test in the 1980s. Today, they’re widely used in labs and clinics, and in veterinary, environmental, and field testing. They’re simple and quick to use and require only a small sample amount.
The company’s patented Thermal Contrast Amplification (TCA) technology was developed at the University of Minnesota. It is designed as a platform that can be used to process a variety of existing Lateral Flow Assay products and eventually become a system with its own proprietary LFAs. The company’s products include two “TCA Readers” that can be used in point-of-care settings or with current or next generation LFAs in hospital labs.
Two of the most significant drivers for Vigilant Diagnostics’ technology are 1) the need for early disease diagnosis to initiate on-time treatment procedures, and 2) the growing demand for self-diagnosis. The company focused initially on successfully validating its first TCA Reader on the diseases of Influenza and Malaria, then later expanded to also focus on other infectious diseases, including HIV and COVID-19.
Vigilant Diagnostics’ advanced technology greatly reduces time to diagnosis, as well as brings increased sensitivity, usually found only in laboratory tests, to point-of-care testing for a wide variety of infectious diseases.
The company has raised $1.2 million in equity investment to date, plus $600,000 in research and development grants from U.S. federal and state governmental agencies. Additional grants are expected to be awarded before the end of 2020.
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