The nanopath — a diagnostics company that says it’s “founded by women, for women” — recently closed $10 million in Series A funding round.
The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners and SV Health Investorsfeaturing GingerBread Capital and Green D Ventures.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup is building a point-of-care diagnostic platform for women’s health screenings. It will use the funds it raised to support the development and commercialization of the platform, which aims to diagnose female pelvic and gynecological infections, both viral and bacterial.
Amogha Tadimety and Alison Burklund, who met at Dartmouth College during their doctoral studies, founded Nanopath in 2019. Early on in their research, they identified women’s health as the healthcare area with the greatest market opportunity for life sciences.
“There are a very limited number of life science companies dedicated to women’s health, and as a result, many critical health decisions are being made in the dark,” Tadimetti said. “Through our doctoral research, we identified a clear need for more informative point-of-care diagnostics, and this led us to create Nanopath.”
Nanopath’s biosensitive technology is designed to enable genetic testing for pelvic and gynecological health within minutes. The startup’s platform eliminates the need to nucleic acid amplification technology (NAAT), which is ubiquitous among molecular testing technologies. This means that clinically applicable genetic information can become available within 15-20 minutes, compared to up to two hours for standard PCR tests, according to Tadimety.
“Imagine being able to get tested and treated for a pelvic or gynecological infection in minutes with one visit to your doctor’s office — that’s what we’re solving,” she said.
In two-indication clinical trials conducted with two New England health systems, Nanopath has generated pilot data that demonstrates the ability of its platform to perform genotyping and bacterial identification. Its platform is currently only able to identify human papillomavirus and urinary tract infections, but the company plans to expand to more diseases.
Nanopath’s immediate focus over the next few years is to build its team, advance product development, conduct More ▼ clinical trials and pursuing vendor partnerships, according to Tadimety. She said that while Nanopath is “initially laser-focused on addressing the significant unmet need in women’s health,” the company may in the future address other diagnostic markets such as severe infection, liquid biopsy and even the design of custom diagnostic testing panels.
Tadimety acknowledged that the startup is still developing its business model and commercial strategy, saying Nanopath currently remains in its research and development stage.
For her, the company’s primary mission is to address healthcare disparities by developing better technology that is “designed to empower the patient and provider in the context of women’s most intimate infectious diseases and health barriers.” Tadimety added that Nanopath envisions itself eventually becoming the point-of-care routine health screening system for women.
That’s a pretty lofty goal, and achieving it will require Nanopath to outpace diagnostic giants like Abbott, Illumina and Quest Diagnostics. Tadimety claims that the fact that Nanopath’s platform does not contain NAAT (unlike other molecular diagnostic platforms that use nucleic acid amplification technology) and therefore much faster sets the company apart from the competition. We’ll just have to see how badly patients and providers want this level of speed in women’s health diagnostics.