ViroCyt, a life sciences startup based in Boulder, CO, recently raised $3.5 million to continue marketing lab equipment that scientists can use to determine the amount of virus particles (such as Ebola) that is present in a blood or tissue sample.
According to SEC filings, ViroCyt has raised $11.7 million since it was formed in 2012.
An example of just how useful the technology can be occurred last summer from researchers attempting to develop vaccines and treatments for Ebola. A group known as the Filovirus Animal Nonclinical Group, or FANG, used the counter to determine the amount of the virus in a sample and help speed up their work. FANG is a consortium of American, British, and Canadian scientists that is led by the departments of Defense and Health and Human Services. In addition to Ebola, FANG researches the Marburg virus, which is in the viral family as Ebola and also causes lethal hemorrhagic fever.
The company says its device, the Virus Counter, can provide results in minutes, besting traditional methods to quantify viruses that can take days or weeks.
ViroCyt previously was part of another Boulder life science company, InDevR, which initially developed the technology. ViroCyt was spun out of InDevR in late 2012 so it could focus on commercialization while InDevR continued to focus on developing new instruments, arrays, and assays that can be used for genotyping and developing vaccines.
InDevR last year received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a kit that can test the potency of vaccines for pandemic influenza. The company also signed a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority that could be worth up to $14.7 million for technology that can rapidly genotype influenza viruses.