TB Biosciences, Inc. Closes $1.5 Million in Series A Financing
Proceeds to Develop a Novel Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test for Active
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- July 18, 2013
Tuberculosis has been all but eradicated in the United States, yet is a
massive killer worldwide, especially in developing countries. Currently, over
90 million sputum tests are conducted annually. The sputum test is less than
50% accurate and unable to diagnose many with active tuberculosis. With
results no better than a coin toss, the World Health Organization (WHO) in
2011 recommended the use of ALL existing serological tests be discontinued.
“The goal of TB Biosciences is to develop an accurate, easy to use,
affordable, rapid point-of-care test to detect active tuberculosis and replace
the unreliable sputum smear,” said Sam Niedbala, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of
TB Biosciences, Inc., a development-stage company, announced today that it
secured $1.5 million in Series A financing. The funding was led by Originate
Ventures and included Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern
Pennsylvania and the NYU Innovation Venture Fund. Together with recent funding
from the National Institute of Health (NIH), total new funds available for the
project are in excess of $2.5 million. The funding will be used to support
product development and clinical trials.
Dr. Niedbala continues, “TB Biosciences uses key peptides to detect antibodies
in patients with active tuberculosis derived from the genome of the
tuberculosis organism, thus offering a completely new approach to testing.
Careful screening of expressed proteins has unlocked a powerful library of
critical peptides, which will enable the Company to target those with active
tuberculosis in children, adults and those co-infected with HIV. Preliminary
performance data using samples from endemic countries has resulted in
sensitivity greater than 90%. This novel approach was developed over the past
20 years at New York University School of Medicine under the scientific
leadership of Suman Laal, Ph.D.”
“Sam Niedbala was a co-founder and the Chief Science Officer at OraSure
Technologies (NASDAQ:OSUR) during the time that OraSure commercialized the
first FDA-approved rapid, oral fluid and blood HIV test. He has extensive
experience developing rapid infectious disease tests, and I believe that we
have a unique opportunity under his leadership to revolutionize the way
tuberculosis testing is done in the future,” stated Mike Gausling, Managing
Partner at Originate Ventures. “Sam is assembling a world-class team to
commercialize the technology, and Originate Ventures is excited to help TB
Biosciences deliver that promise.”
“The early sensitivity and specificity data in the lab has demonstrated that
TB Biosciences’ tuberculosis test is expected to meet or exceed consensus
targets for sensitivity and specificity once the test is optimized. This would
be a major breakthrough in tuberculosis testing and could go a long way to
saving many lives each year,” says Frank Rimalovski, Executive Director of the
NYU Innovation Venture Fund.
“The product development efforts for the tuberculosis test will occur in
Bethlehem, Pa., and we are excited to be investors in TB Biosciences under
Sam’s leadership,” stated Chad Paul, President and Chief Executive Officer of
the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Over the
past 20 years, Sam Niedbala and Mike Gausling have created a proven track
record of building a Russell 2000 company from scratch starting in our
business incubator in 1988. The opportunity to invest in TB Biosciences is a
terrific opportunity for us and for our global community.”
About TB Biosciences
TB Biosciences, Inc. is an early stage development medical diagnostics company
founded in June 2013 to develop a rapid point-of-care tuberculosis test that
meets performance standards around the world. The goal of TB Biosciences is to
commercialize a simple to operate and use tuberculosis test that replaces the
125 year old sputum smear test. The Company is using an array of patented
peptides developed and exclusively licensed from the NYU School of Medicine.
To learn more, visit www.TBBiosciences.com.
About Originate Ventures
Originate Ventures is a venture capital investment firm, targeting early stage
product and services companies located in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic
region. The firm focuses on opportunities with medical devices, healthcare,
consumer, information technology, Web-based and commercial products. Operating
with an entrepreneurial spirit and vision, Originate’s investments range in
size from $500,000 to $4,000,000. For more information, visit
About NYU Innovation Venture Fund
The NYU Innovation Venture Fund is a $20 million seed stage venture capital
fund created in 2010 to invest in startups founded by, and/or commercializing
technologies developed by NYU students, faculty and researchers. For more
information, visit nyu.edu/venturefund.
About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania creates and
retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by linking early-stage technology-based
firms and established manufacturers with experts, universities, funding, and
other resources to help them prosper through innovation. The Ben Franklin
Technology Partners has returned $3.60 to the Pennsylvania treasury for every
$1.00 invested in the program. It is part of an award-winning, four-center
economic development initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community
and Economic Development, and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology
Development Authority. For more information, visit www.nep.benfranklin.org.
TB Biosciences, Inc.
R. Sam Niedbala, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
800-822-9923 Ext. 1
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