Biomeme: the startup NextFab wants to change the delivery of medical diagnostics
It could take a doctor two whole weeks to administer an STD test, ship the samples, alert the patient of the results and have them return for treatment. Biomeme wants to speed up this process.
The team behind the pocket genetic test says it can process STD test results in less than an hour, meaning patients who need treatment could get it almost immediately , said the Biomeme co-founder. Jesse van Westrienen. The tests are currently in a pilot phase at Drexel and Penn.
But that’s just one way to use Biomeme’s product, a mix of hardware, software, and lab science that lets people look at “the genetic world,” as vanWestrienen puts it. The founders, based at makerspace NextFab Studioimagine a world where, with the help of Biomeme, mothers can test their children at home for strep throat, students can do lab tests in the field, and runners can see how exercise affects their bodies .
The vision, said vanWestrienen, is to lower the barrier to entry into this type of science.
“We think anyone can do this stuff,” said vanWestrienen, the lead biologist on the four-person team.
Traditionally, these genetic tests are done in a lab with equipment that costs around $10,000. Biomeme” shrinks [that equipment] up to a kit” which will end up costing around $1,000.
Watch a video on how Biomeme works below.
Biomeme, who came to Philadelphia from New Mexico last spring to participate in the DreamIt Health accelerator, plans to ship its first kits to early adopters this month, including a university in Australia, a company that wants to develop anti-counterfeiting solutions with DNA and the US Department of Defensewho hopes to use the product to monitor biological threats.
The startup has already raised $300,000 and is currently working to close a $1.2 million round, vanWestrienen said. One of their earliest supporters was Jared Tarbellthe co-founder of Etsy.
vanWestrienen and its co-founders, Max Perelman and Marc De Johnplan to continue growing the business in Philadelphia, like many of their fellow DreamIt Health graduates.
Why? It’s easier to get funding here than in New Mexico, vanWestrienen said, but he’s also drawn to the growing tech scene and the idea of not being “one of many startups.” of Silicon Valley.
And, not to be understated: “He has this underdog appeal.”