The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup is creating a point-of-care diagnostics platform for women’s health screenings. It will use the funds it raised to support the development and commercialization of the platform, which aims to diagnose women’s pelvic and gynecologic infections, both viral and bacterial.
Amogha Tadimety and Alison Burklund, who met at Dartmouth College during their PhD research, founded Nanopath in 2019. Early on in their research, they identified women’s health as the area of healthcare with the biggest life sciences market opportunity.
“There is a very limited number of life science companies dedicated to women’s health and, as a result, many critical health decisions are being made in the dark,” Tadimety said. “Through our PhD research, we identified a clear need for more informative diagnostics at the point of care, and this led us to found Nanopath.”
Nanopath’s biosensing technology is designed to enable genetic testing for pelvic and gynecologic health within minutes. The startup’s platform eliminates the need for nucleic acid amplification technology (NAAT), which is ubiquitous among molecular testing technologies. This means clinically actionable genetic information can become available within 15-20 minutes, compared to up to two hours for standard PCR tests, according to Tadimety.
“Imagine being able to test and receive treatment for a pelvic or gynecologic infection all in a matter of minutes in a single visit to your doctor’s office — that’s what we’re solving for,” she said.
In the clinical trials for two indications it conducted with two New England health systems, Nanopath generated pilot data that demonstrated its platform’s ability to perform genotyping and bacterial identification. Its platform is currently only able to identify human papillomavirus and urinary tract infections, but the company plans to expand to more conditions.
Nanopath’s immediate focus over the next couple of years is to build out its team, advance product development, conduct more clinical studies and pursue provider partnerships, according to Tadimety. She said that while Nanopath is “initially laser focused on addressing the significant unmet need in women’s health,” the company could in the future tackle other diagnostic markets such as severe infection, liquid biopsy and even the design of personalized diagnostic testing panels.
Tadimety acknowledged that the startup is still developing its business model and commercial strategy, saying that Nanopath currently remains in its research and development stage.
To her, the company’s core mission is to address health disparities by developing better technology that is “designed to empower the patient and provider within the context of women’s most intimate infectious diseases and health obstacles.” Tadimety added that Nanopath envisions itself as eventually becoming the go-to system for routine women’s health screening at the point of care.
This is quite a lofty goal, and achieving it will require Nanopath to edge out diagnostic giants like Abbott, Illumina and Quest Diagnostics. Tadimety claimed that the fact that Nanopath’s platform is NAAT-free (unlike other molecular diagnostic platforms, which use nucleic acid amplification technology) and therefore much more rapid sets the company apart from its competition. We’ll just have to see how badly patients and providers want this level of speed in women’s health diagnostics.