Events, Diagnostics

Here are the finalists for the diagnostics track of INVEST Pitch Perfect

Finalists for the diagnostics track at INVEST Pitch Perfect include tests for upper respiratory infections, breast cancer screening, in vitro cellular immunoassays, dysphagia diagnostics, and neuroscience.

contest, spotlight

It’s been an exciting 12 months for the diagnostics sector given all the activity we have seen since Covid-19 became a worldwide pandemic. Finalists for the diagnostics track at INVEST Pitch Perfect embrace span biosensors, upper respiratory infections, breast cancer screening, in vitro cellular immunoassays, dysphagia diagnostics, and neuroscience.

The INVEST Pitch Perfect contest is part of our INVEST conference April 19-23, which will be hosted online due to Covid-19. It includes five tracks for startups: biopharma, medical devices, diagnostics, health IT and health services.

Click here to see the rest of the agenda.


Finalists fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • Raised at least $1 million; 
  • Raised a Series A round; 
  • Have at least one qualified institutional investor or strategic investor

Judges for the track include:

Here are the finalists:

CEO: Eric Mayer

Headquarters: Knoxville, TN

EDP Biotech develops and commercializes convenient, cost-effective diagnostics which detect disease early.

CEO: Edward Gillen

Founder: Bruce Batten (CSO)

Headquarters: St. Paul, MN

GRIP Molecular’s single-use biosensor and mobile app provides consumers highly accurate and comprehensive medical diagnostic information in minutes, anytime and anywhere. The patented, graphene-enabled solid-state electronic platform technology is easy to use and does not require chemical reagents or a separate reader. GRIP’s underlying technology can simultaneously detect the presence of infectious disease pathogens and characterize the host response, including the immune response, to enable information-enabled diagnosis and the rapid application of appropriate therapy. The first product will simultaneously provide diagnostic information for COVID-19, Influenza A/B and other common upper respiratory infections. Proof of concept has been completed and development is underway with initial product launch anticipated in 2023.

Founder and CEO: David Ure

Headquarters: Raleigh, NC and Sioux Falls, SD

Inanovate has developed a patented blood analysis system (the Bio-ID) that improves the cost, accessibility, and accuracy of diagnostic tests. The first application of the Bio-ID is a new blood test to be used as a supplement to mammography to help reduce false positive results in breast cancer screening. Approximately 10% of the 39 million screening mammograms performed annually in the US require follow-up testing to resolve the diagnosis, yet more than 95% of these are ‘false positives’ in which no cancer is detected. The economic cost of false-positive mammograms is ~$4 billion, and >1 million women are exposed to risks associated with subsequent diagnostics. Inanovate seeks to address this issue through a simple, inexpensive blood test, that will provide additional data on a patients cancer risk to help inform clinicians whether follow up procedures are necessary.

CEO and CSO: Enrique Hernández

Headquarters: Barcelona Spain and Dallas, TX

Loop Diagnostics is a novel first-in-class in vitro cellular immunoassay that identifies sepsis after the first-hour of bloodstream infection. We have developed a patented method and kit (with disposable) to identify immune activity biomarkers, that is 3x more sensitive than the current biomarker competitor (PCT) and provides a 10x faster diagnosis than pathogen identification. Our biomarker appears after the first hour of infection, long before PCT can detect the presence of Sepsis. This will allow healthcare professionals to begin accurate treatment earlier – reducing the severity of the disease and decreasing the number of antibiotics or other drugs necessary for treatment.

Co-founders: Michael Peck (CEO) and Correy Trupp (COO)

Headquarters: Leawood, KS

Patheous Health is building a Dysphagia Care-as-a-Service (CaasSD) business to improve access to feeding and swallow healthcare for senior care providers. Our diagnostic and therapeutic solutions impact patients that suffer from swallowing impairment and nutrition consumption in multiple care settings, including skilled nursing, home health, in-patient rehabilitation, assisted living and community dwelling adults. Patheous Health closed the Series A round in March 2020 and acquired the largest US provider of onsite dysphagia diagnostics. The acquisition provided immediate revenues and 375 senior care provider facility clients. We are building on our customer base, expanding our value-based service, and building a deep channel to introduce our Dysphagic Care-as-a-Service platform. Our team is composed of world-class experts in dysphagia research and care and supported by experienced executives that know how to build a clinical care business.

Co-founders: Amir Bozorgzadeh (CEO) and Hossein Jalali (CTO)

Headquarters: Lisbon, Portugal

Virtuleap unlocks neuroscience with virtual reality to help pharmaceutical companies accelerate the approval of drugs designed to treat cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.

Photo: Adam Taylor, Getty Images