Two Pore Guys raises $24.5M for hand-held diagnostic testing device

By Heather Mack
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Santa Cruz, California-based Two Pore Guys, which is developing a novel method of diagnostic testing via a device that digitally detects molecules, has raised $24.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures.

Two Pore Guys (aka 2PG) will use the funding to scale up the manufacturing of their hand-held device, which works like a glucose monitor, albeit with disposable test strips that use solid-state nanopore-based sensors to digitally detect single-molecules. The device then wirelessly transmits data to authorized systems (which can be smartphones or computers) and cloud infrastructures. The company intends to take the device into telemedicine, clinical trials and drug development as well as disease and pathogen-tracking around the world.

While the device is not available yet, 2PG has a business model in mind that will function like the smartphone app store model, with strategic partners who will act similar to software developers who make apps. Instead, third parties will devise tests for the 2PG platform by developing their own assays to detect specific molecules.

Additionally, the 2PG platform can work with existing, traditionally-designed tests that work with centralized lab equipment. With this adaptability, 2PG envisions their platform can allow for a limitless array of high-sensitivity tests.

Since getting started in early 2017, 2PG has steadily accrued partnerships with organizations across markets – including human and animal diagnostics, agriculture, food safety testing, environmental monitoring, regulatory and defense.

“Since we formally introduced the company a few months ago and announced our first clinical liquid biopsy study with the University of California, San Francisco, we have received overwhelming interest,” Dan Heller, 2PG’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are really excited to be working with one of the top venture firms as we enter our next phase of growth.”

Along with ramped up development of the device, 2PG will also hire more executives and advance their two-pore technology for whole genome and genome mapping.

“With 2PG's platform, a new diagnostics business model is born,” lead investor Vinod Khosla said in a statement. “The capital requirements for bringing a test to market are now more like software companies because there is nothing for the developers to manufacture; they just design assays. With the democratization of diagnostics enabled by this platform, we can imagine entire bio-incubator operations and big data analyses based on 2PG’s technology, opening the doors to a new world of real-time precision medicine.”