Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Washington start-up raises $6M to commercialize novel biosensors

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: January 11th, 2022

A start-up from the University of Washington (UW) has raised $6 million in funding to commercialize biosensors that can quickly detect viral proteins, toxins, antibodies and other molecules.

Monod Bio creates the sensors using software developed at UW’s Institute for Protein Design that can design proteins from scratch, or “de novo,” rather than using the more limited number of designs found in nature.

“We are the first company, as far as we know, using de novo computational protein design for biosensors and diagnostics,” says Alfredo Quijano Rubio, chief scientific officer at Monod Bio.

The sensors emit light when they recognize their target and have been shown to detect a range of molecules including the “spike” protein of the COVID-19 virus, an HER2 receptor linked to cancer, and cardiac troponin, which is released by the body following a heart attack. While sensors currently work in test tubes, Monod Bio plans to make them more accessible and easier to use, similar to at-home pregnancy tests.

Monod Bio will use the $6 million funding round, which was raised from friends and family, to further develop the technology and build prototypes for real-world applications.

Source: GeekWire

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