XaTek announced that it has raised $9.1 million to advance the development of ClotChip — a portable test designed to rapidly analyze, using a single drop of blood, the ability of a person’s blood to clot.
The capital was raised in a series A financing round, which marks a company’s first significant round of money-raising from venture capital investors.
The money will be used to finish bring the Ohio-based company’s device into clinical trials that may lead to a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for product clearance, or a right to market ClotChip, by mid-2021, XaTek said in a press release.
ClotChip was developed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University applying the principles of miniaturized dielectric spectroscopy — a patented electrical technique developed by university engineers less than 10 years ago.
ClotChip applies an external electric field to a drop of blood, then measures how the droplet affects the field. That response is indicative of the blood’s ability to clot; results ca be sent to devices connected by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The device also gives “qualitative feedback as to the quality and firmness of the forming blood clot,” the company reports.
ClotChip can determine blood clotting ability 95 times faster than current methods, the company reports. This is especially beneficial as patients can be tested in a physician’s office rather than going to a lab for coagulation tests, results of which can take several weeks.
“The ClotChip sensor provides us with a platform technology that has the unique advantage of solving existing diagnostic issues for a number of medical conditions,” John Zak, company president and chief executive officer, said in the release.
Xatek was granted an exclusive license to develop the ClotChip technology for commercial use by Case Western Reserve University’s Technology Transfer Office in 2016. The technology is co-owned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“We are excited to see the investor community’s enthusiasm to support further development of ClotChip, and look forward to the day when this innovative technology augments the quality of life for a range of patients on the spectrum of blood-coagulation disorders,” said Pedram Mohseni, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve.
Mohseni developed ClotChip alongside Michael Suster, a senior research associate, Debnath Maji, a PhD candidate, and Evi Stavrou, an assistant professor of hematology and oncology.
The technology is detailed in the paper, “ClotChip: A Microfluidic Dielectric Sensor for Point-of-Care Assessment of Hemostasis,” published in 2017 in the journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems.
XaTek expects that ClotChip will be of benefit to hemophilia patients and others with bleeding disorders, as well as trauma patients and people using new-generation blood thinners.