Vie Diagnostics, a University of Washington spin out that won last year’s UW business plan competition, has been awarded a $225,000 Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue work on tests for infectious diseases that can return results in as little as 10 minutes.
The grant is designed to support small businesses and nonprofits as they move from the research and development phase to commercializing their products, and requires that recipients formally collaborate with a public research institution.
The first phase of the grant will examine the feasibility and commercial potential of Vie Diagnostic’s first product, a point-of-care chlamydia test which returns a diagnosis without sending samples to a laboratory. Point-of-care tests allow patients to be diagnosed and treated in the same visit, a process which normally takes days or even weeks.
Charlie Corredor, Vie Diagnostics co-founder, says the startup’s platform could be used to diagnose a variety of other infectious diseases. He added that the company plans on applying their tech to other infections, including throat and respiratory infections.
If current research and development is successful, Vie Diagnostics can advance to Phase II of the grant program, which supports continued research and development of products. Phase II grants can run up to $1 million.
“The NSF grant is a reflection of all the progress we have made as a company so far,” Corredor said. “And it’s going to keep us moving forward.”
“It’s exciting,” added Mark Borysiak, a co-founder of Vie Diagnostics and a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. “We’re confident that we’ll meet the conditions to get the second phase of funding.”