Developer of testing device to help monitor type 2 diabetes opens $1.7M round

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diabetes finger stick

Daily, at-home blood glucose testing gives diabetics a way to monitor their glycemic control over the short term, and HbA1c testing gives a better picture long-term. Epinex Diagnostics Inc., a company developing a device to give doctors and patients an indication of their glycemic control over an intermediate term, revealed in a regulatory filing last week that it’s secured $318,000 from several investors and could continue raising up to $1.7 million in a private equity offering.

The test is based on glycated albumin. Albumin is a protein in the blood that becomes altered from exposure to excess sugar in the bloodstream. Research has found glycated albumin to be associated with a variety of diabetes complications (PDF) including kidney disease.

Because it has a replacement time of two to three weeks, albumin has been studied as a way to diagnose and monitor diabetes over an intermediate term to fill the gap between daily blood glucose monitoring and once- or twice-per-year hemoglobin A1c testing. Epinex proposes that monthly monitoring gives physicians better insight to modify treatments or identify potential complications earlier.

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Glycated albumin testing is available now, but is done through a laboratory. Epinex proposes packaging its technology as a hand-held device. Here’s how it describes the device on its website:

“The test is composed of the G1A™ reader and our proprietary dual-channel test cassette, which is able to simultaneously test for glycated albumin and total albumin. A drop of whole blood is placed on the sample well of the cassette and the cassette is inserted into the reader device. Based on our platform technology, the G1A™ reader automatically quantifies the analyte concentrations on the cassette and gives the G1A™ Index, the ratio of glycated albumin to total albumin in serum. The G1A™ Index shows how well the patients have controlled their level of glycation over the previous month.”

According to the website, one version is being created for use in a doctor’s office at the point of care, and another is being developed for over-the-counter use by patients.

Epinex isn’t exactly a startup. It was founded in 2002, but the Tustin, California, company still has yet to release its first product. A media representative did not respond to a request for an update on the company’s progress.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, and they spend more than $15 billion a year managing the disease.

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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