Biomeme To Launch Portable Sample-To-Answer PCR System, Host-Response Testing

The pandemic wrought remarkable changes in diagnostics, some of which may improve healthcare for future generations. It also precipitated a dramatic expansion for Philadelphia-based mini PCR instrument and assay developer Biomeme.

The company is now using revenues from CAP and CLIA accredited testing labs it owns to create a sample-to-answer instrument and further differentiate itself through a focus on host-response testing.

Biomeme was founded in 2013 to commercialize a mini PCR system called Franklin. The company debuted a wholly owned subsidiary of testing labs, called One Health Laboratories, in February of 2019, in part to capitalize on the attributes of the Franklin system, according to Jesse vanWestrienen, a Biomeme cofounder and executive VP of products.

“We felt that a lot of the types of products that Biomeme was creating would be really useful in [lab-developed test] environments and would add some capabilities that other CLIA and CAP labs don’t necessarily have,” vanWestrienen said, like mobility and ease of use.

The firm validated a lab-developed respiratory panel for influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus prior to the pandemic.

Then the pandemic hit and there was a dire need for SARS-CoV-2 testing. In May of 2020, Biomeme obtained Emergency Use Authorization for a lab-developed SARS-CoV-2 assay to be run at One Health Labs, and three months later, it received a second EUA for a modified test using the firm’s two-minute manual nucleic acid extraction kit, called the M1 Sample Prep Cartridge, and running on the Franklin or on standard thermal cyclers.

“Then, it was a matter of scaling because obviously, the demand was insane,” vanWestrienen said.

Over the course of the pandemic, One Health Labs has overseen more than 100 temporary testing sites using the Franklin mobile PCR system.

Read the full article here.

The Fan Data Goldmine

New tech that allows artists to interact with superfans — and turn their data into dollars — promises to open long-term revenue streams

Jessie Reyez loves to text, especially with fans. Using a phone number assigned through the celebrity text-messaging startup Community and shared on her social media accounts, the singer-songwriter makes time nearly every day to have one-on-one conversations with her most dedicated supporters where they share memes and talk about their lives.

“Some really kind fans send me heartfelt messages, and we have exchanges regularly now that I have them in my favorites,” says Reyez. “Distance between humans seems to be getting larger and larger. However, being able to get directly into [fans’] text messages has been a step in making a fan more than a fan.”

Along the way, Reyez is getting something just as valuable: a pathway to retrieve data about her superfans, who each opted in by way of sending a text and agreeing to an online consent form. Through sending mass messages to segments of her Community fan base, Reyez has pulled information — such as hometown, age and interests — to target her most-engaged fans with digital advertisements, strike brand deals and more. Community also helps her make merchandise decisions based on fans’ feedback and mobilize fans to get the attention of brands and artists she wants to collaborate with on social media. “There’s just so many ways that you can monetize these days, and Community allows you to do that, especially when you’re not touring,” says Reyez co-manager, Mauricio Ruiz. “Using every digital outlet that you can to make sure you’re still engaging with your fan base is incredibly important.”

The music industry has long ridden on superfans: the top 1% most-engaged, day-one die-hards who consistently stream their favorite artists’ music, buy their merchandise, pay to see their shows and share their music with friends. Executives interviewed for this story estimate that superfans on average make up 50% to 80% of an artist’s overall revenue. Yet on an individual level, superfans were long invisible to their idols, since artists and their teams lacked the tools to track fans’ information and habits.

Along the way, and perhaps most importantly, Audigent only pulls data from users who opt in through a pop-up consent form and only analyzes fully anonymized data sets that are restricted to users’ content consumption, interests and affinities. Audigent doesn’t track personally identifiable information (aka PII), and users can opt out at any time. While tech companies like Facebook and Google have faced backlash for their handling of personal data, Senderoff and Katz see Audigent as an opportunity for the music industry to start its entry into ad tech on the right foot. “In past construction of these big social networks, you were sharing your data unbeknownst to you in a lot of ways,” says Senderoff. “We have to understand the responsibility of data and accountability when we’re aggregating it.”

Read the full article here.

After a Pandemic Growth Spurt, COVID-19 Test Maker Biomeme is Moving its HQ to North Broad and Looking to the Future

About this time last year, Biomeme — makers of a rapid COVID-19 test and other diagnostic hardware — had about 35 people in its 10th and Chestnut streets HQ.

Enter a global pandemic. The company, now about 280 employees across the U.S. and about 120 in the Philadelphia region, has outgrown its office. It will join esports company Nerd Street Gamers at a 44,000-square-foot office, lab, testing and manufacturing in a new corporate headquarters at 401 N. Broad St., owned by Netrality, operator of fiber-dense data centers that allow for super-fast internet.

Biomeme currently produces mobile, real time-PCR devices and other testing hardware. It’s currently manufacturing products including a FDA emergency use authorized COVID-19 test.

The move will help the expansion of the company’s manufacturing capacity, and is supported by a $3 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. It will allow Biomeme to produce more than 10 million tests annually, the company said. Biomeme has been working with Strada Architecture LLC to build out the space to meet all of its office, manufacturing and lab needs.

Read the full article here.

Audigent Secures $19.1 Million Series B Financing Round Led by EPAM Systems/The Go Philly Fund

Audigent, the “2.0” data management platform (DMP) and leading edge “data agency” that has pioneered data-driven private marketplace deals through its cookieless HALOM Identity product suite has announced that it has completed a $19.1 million Series B round of financing.

The funding will allow Audigent to continue its expansion as the premier first party data platform for the entertainment, sports, lifestyle and Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) eCommerce verticals as well as further its innovation as one of the leading next-gen data monetization platforms for major retail and CPG partners. The Go Philly Fund, a joint venture between Ben Franklin Technology Partners and EPAM Systems, Inc., has led the investment round with additional participation from both existing and new investors including: Broadscale Group, Raised in Space, MathCapital, Riverpark Ventures and others.

The investment brings Audigent’s total funding to $33.6 million since launch and will help the company broaden the reach of its cookieless PMP products and HALO IDTM while also aggressively expanding its sales and marketing efforts globally. Additionally, it will fuel the continued expansion of first-to-market data and inventory monetization tools for premium digital publishers. EPAM’s VP, Co-Head of North America, Regina Viadro will join the Board of Directors.

The Series B financing builds on an exciting year of growth for Audigent, highlighted by extraordinary demand for its SmartPMPTM and ContextualPMPTM products as well as growing adoption of its cookieless HALO IDTM by both content publishers and supply side platforms (SSP).

Read the full article here.

Biomeme & Predigen Merge to Enable Point-of-Care Delivery of Host Response Tests That Address Critical Unmet Needs in Healthcare

Biomeme, the leading provider of portable PCR testing solutions, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Predigen, a privately held diagnostic company and emerging leader in precision medicine focused on host response diagnostics.

Predigen’s acquisition will expand Biomeme’s capabilities across infectious disease and clinical microbiology, business management, and commercialization.

redigen’s portfolio includes flagship host gene expression biomarkers for the pre-symptomatic detection of viral infections as well as biomarkers that accurately discriminate viral from bacterial infections to enable appropriate patient management and antibiotic stewardship. Predigen also has signatures for sepsis diagnosis, sepsis risk stratification, and a pipeline of biomarkers for non-infectious diseases. With nine different patents at various stages of execution, this scientific team has received over $50 million in grant funding from the Department of Defense (DoD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

According to Brian Best, Predigen’s CEO, “Prior to the pandemic, the over-utilization of antibiotics and increasing antimicrobial resistance were dominant concerns among the infectious disease community. That need still exists and it is a significant market opportunity that requires accurate, near-patient and rapid-result performance capabilities. This merger will enable an end-to-end solution to meet this challenge.”

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Cagent Vascular Announces FDA 510(k) Clearance for its Serranator Device for the Infrapopliteal Indication and Completion of its PRELUDE-BTK Clinical Trial Enrollment

WAYNE, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Cagent Vascular, a developer of serration technology for vessel dilatation in cardiovascular disease interventions, announces FDA 510(k) Clearance of its Serranator® PTA Serration Balloon Catheter for treating below-the-knee (BTK) lesions.

The Serranator device is the first and only angioplasty balloon FDA Cleared and CE Marked that embeds serration technology into a semi-compliant balloon for treating Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). It is designed to create multiple longitudinal lines of interrupted micro-serrations to aid arterial expansion.

The company also recently completed enrollment of its PRELUDE-BTK Study, a prospective, single-arm, multi-center feasibility study to show the safety and efficacy of the device. A total of 49 patients were enrolled. The study is led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Andrew Holden (Auckland, New Zealand). Six centers from Europe and New Zealand are participating in the trial which will include 30-day and 6-month follow up.

“This trial enrolled quickly, which speaks to the enthusiasm for better technology like the Serranator. Treating BTK lesions is a challenge due to the unpredictability we often see with existing balloon therapy such as insufficient lumen gain, vessel dissection and recoil. These arteries are small in diameter, often calcified, with much of the disease located in the distal portion of the leg, making treatment a challenge,” stated Dr. Holden.

Read the full article here.

Cagent Vascular Receives $9M Investment to Accelerate Marketing of its Lead Product

A Wayne medical device company has raised $9 million to accelerate the commercialization of its peripheral artery disease device cleared by the Food and Drug Administration last year.

Cagent Vascular received the investment from Sectoral Asset Management. Marc-Andre Marcotte, a partner and COO at the Canadian investment firm, has joined Cagent’s board of directors.

Founded in 2014, Cagent specializes in developing next generation angioplasty balloons using its proprietary serration technology.

In April 2020, the FDA granted marketing clearance to the company’s Serranator PTA serration balloon catheter — an angioplasty device with serrated metal strips to aid in arterial expansion — for treating below-the-knee lesions.

Cagent intends to use part of the investment proceeds to accelerate the commercialization and scaling of manufacturing for the Serranator product.

Read the full article here.

Clutch Platform Powers Wizard World's First Loyalty Program for the Comic Con Crowd

clutch

The producer of the iconic pop culture conventions enlists a marketing technology innovator to deliver personalized, more memorable experiences for fans.

When it comes to fan loyalty, there’s arguably no more devout group than the multitudes of decked-out fans attending Wizard World Comic Con events each year. Now the iconic tour’s producer, Wizard World, Inc. has teamed with Clutch, a consumer management platform pioneer, to further kindle fan devotion through enhanced, personalized experiences at its comic, sci-fi, and related events.

With its new fan loyalty program, Wizard World will offer exclusive incentives for advanced admission purchases along with options to pre-order photo op and autograph sessions at its pop culture events. The program will also help Wizard World use data insights provided by the Clutch platform to identify a fan’s favorite movies, TV shows, comics, and characters, and deliver customized experiences.

“With a fast-growing list of characters, brands, and celebrities participating in our comic con events, it is crucial to Wizard World and our partners that our offerings match specific fan preferences and deliver exactly what they are most passionate about,” explained John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “Clutch’s advanced customer marketing technology gives us keen insight into our fans’ behavior and interests, which allows us to cater to their individual preferences and maximize their experiences at all of our shows across the country.”

“Today’s consumers demand that brands deliver customized, even ‘special’ experiences, regardless of location, product, or scale,” said Chris Jones, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Clutch. “Personalization is critical to every customer-centric business, and it will come naturally for a brand like Wizard World that’s already had tremendous success with experiential marketing. The Clutch-Wizard World team is going to explore fan loyalty, events marketing, and data collection in a way that hasn’t been done before, creating untold growth opportunity for both organizations.”

The loyalty program is planned for full-scale deployment in the first quarter of 2016. In the meantime, you can see the conflux of devotees for yourself at the next Wizard World Comic Con, happening November 20-22 in Reno, Nevada.

About Clutch
Clutch’s advanced Consumer Management platform delivers customer intelligence and personalized engagements empowering consumer-focused brands to identify, understand and motivate their Most Valuable Customers (MVCs). Its advanced marketing platform integrates customer data across point-of-sale, ecommerce, mobile and social channels delivering personalized experiences, intelligent engagements and loyal customers.Headquartered outside of Philadelphia, Clutch’s solutions impact over 55 million consumers of over 750 brands. Clutch is a proud partner of Safeguard Scientifics SFE, +0.47% and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. For more information visit clutch.com, follow Clutch Holdings on LinkedIn or@ClutchSuccess on Twitter.

About Wizard World
Wizard World, Inc. (http://www.wizardworld.com) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ: CIDM), and ComicConBox™, a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

The 2015-16 Wizard World Comic Con schedule is available at: www.wizardworld.com/wizcon.html.

Digital health Company Tridiuum’s CEO on its Pivot to Product and Reducing Suicide Rates

Center City-based behavioral health company Tridiuum kicked off 2020 by announcing Tuesday it has created a partnership with Washington-based LifeStance Health to improvements patient outcomes and further commit to making suicide “a never event.”

The company is known for its Tridiuum ONE platform, a cloud-based SaaS platform that clinical facilities and patients can use to identify behavioral conditions faster, accelerate access to care, engage patients for feedback and deliver treatment progress tracking. The platform integrates with most electronic health records and health IT software, reported the company, which raised a $9.5 million Series B back in December 2018.

The platform is used within the 24 hours before an appointment or visit with a mental health care professional, as Tridiuum CEO Mark Redlus — a serial tech CEO with a background in health tech and clean energy — told Technical.ly. A patient will fill out a two- to four-minute survey on a tablet before entering a session, and its software quickly identifies the scope of what a patient is presenting with at the time, including suicidal ideation, so the healthcare professional can create a treatment plan.

Read the full article here.

Houwzer, Phenom, Piano and more Philly Tech Companies Made 2021’s Inc. 5000 list

The 2021 edition of the Inc. 5000 list, a roundup of the country’s fastest-growing private companies, was released Tuesday, and Philadelphia-area companies made a strong showing again.

This year’s list comes amid a continuing global pandemic, taking stock of the companies that report three-year revenue growth. Out of the top 5,000 companies, 149 come from the Philly metro area, which includes the ‘burbs, South Jersey and Wilmington — though, caveat, not all of those “Delaware” companies are actually from Delaware. Last year’s list saw 136 local businesses ranked.

The local list makers represented a median growth of 134% since last year, saw $7 billion in total revenue and added 15,012 jobs, per Inc. Twelve of the local companies were newly founded, and 70 are repeat honorees, including many of the tech companies represented.

Check out some highlights from 2021’s list:

  • Real estate tech company Houwzer, which made the Inc. 5000 last year, too, ranked No. 918 this year, down a few hundred from 2020’s No. 730 ranking.
  • HR tech company Phenom ranks right under Houwzer at No. 928. It’s risen the ranks from last year, when it placed No. 1,852.
  • B2B software company Piano ranks No. 1,028 on this year’s list, a few spots down from its rank as No. 708 in 2019 and 440 in 2018.

See the full list and article here.

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