Daktari Secures $10 Million From Merck Fund — For Developing-World HIV Diagnostic Test


Showing an admirably-keen interest in more than just the post-industrial world markets, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund recently staked $10 million on a Boston area HIV diagnostic equipment maker. The novel concept of this HIV diagnostic kit is that it will work (it is said) in less-than pristine, optimal (high-end laboratory or clinical) conditions. In other words, it will work in rooms with little better than dirt floors. And that, frankly, is where the majority of the developig world still receives primary health-care services.

Using recent scientific innovations, including lysate impedance spectroscopy, the new device uses a simple sensor that counts the captured CD4 cells by measuring their internal contents electrically, unencumbered by the lenses, cameras, filters or complex optics needed in prior-generation machines. A handheld instrument interprets the electrical signal, and reports the CD4 count within minutes. Definitive diagnosis, without the sterile lab conditions. From the Daktari presser, then:

. . . .Daktari Diagnostics Inc., a developer of point-of-care diagnostic systems for global health applications, announces that it has secured $10 million in a staged financing round from a syndicate of private and venture investors. Merck Global Health Innovation Fund led the round, joined by the company’s current investor group, led by Norwich Ventures and the Partners Innovation Fund. . . .

The Daktari diagnostic system is designed to analyze small volumes of blood or other fluids, for use in any type of health care setting. The technology was initially developed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. . . .

We will keep an eye on the investment’s progress — and that makes two recent non-drug (i.e., device) inestments.

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