Gauss, the leading developer of computer vision applications for healthcare, today announced it raised an additional $10 million of expansion capital to accelerate its COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen test and computer-vision app. The additional funding was led by The 4100 Group, a subsidiary of Delta Dental of Michigan and Ohio, with additional participation by existing investors including SoftBank Ventures Asia, Northwell Health, Providence Health and Services, OSF Healthcare and Polaris Partners. This brings the company’s total Series C financing round to $30 million. The 4100 Group’s Managing Director of Private Market Investments, Scott Lancaster, MD, MBA, will join Gauss’s Board of Directors.
“AI-driven, digital innovation platforms are critical in the battle against COVID-19, driving new models of distributed care,” said Dr. Scott Lancaster. “We’re very excited to be investing in Gauss as we see the company leading this transformation.”
Gauss last month announced an exclusive partnership with Cellex, a leading biotechnology company specializing in point-of-care diagnostic testing, to launch the first-ever rapid, at-home and point-of-care COVID-19 antigen test. If authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the test would be the first allowing people to test themselves for active COVID-19 infection and receive rapid results within the confines of their own home or similar user environments.
Proceeds from the Series C round will fund clinical trials and broader post-market studies on the at-home testing platform. Clinical trials are ongoing for Gauss’s rapid antigen test to support FDA EUA submission for at-home use. The company expects to announce the clinical trial results soon and the technology is already in use to power large-scale, at-home research studies on COVID-19.
Last week, Gauss’s at-home digital platform began powering a major study from the Stanford University School of Medicine called Community Alliance to Test Coronavirus at Home (CATCH), which seeks to estimate the true population prevalence of COVID-19 across the 8.5 million population of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and ultimately aid in the effort to reopen schools, workplaces and communities.
“The study is tracking where and how the virus is spreading, capturing whether people have symptoms and identifying vulnerable communities,” said Yvonne Maldonado, MD, a Stanford Medicine researcher and professor of pediatric infectious diseases. “The intuitive, mobile testing application by Gauss helps ensure a seamless user experience for at-home testing, which will be an important tool in the public health response to combating the pandemic.”
Gauss’s at-home platform is also being used to power a study from Stanford Medicine called the Californians Fighting Against Coronavirus Together Study (CA-FACTS). This serology study, conducted across multiple counties in California, employs antibody tests and seeks to understand the prevalence of IgG/IgM antibodies to COVID-19 in the population.
“Understanding who has been infected is critical as we prepare for rolling out vaccines. Gauss’s mobile app has enabled us to conduct serology testing at home using the user’s own smartphone as a guide,” said Julie Parsonnet, MD, Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University, the Principal Investigator of the CA-FACTS study.
Today, Gauss helped launch a second major study with the University of Southern California (USC) called the COVID-19 FIRE study, which aims to enroll up to 1,000 first responders, and is evaluating the role of self-administered antigen tests as part of a new testing paradigm with public policy implications.
“Broadening access to testing through a rapid, at-home antigen test for COVID-19 can significantly impact our ability to break the chain of infection and enable communities to better manage the virus until eradication is possible,” said Neeraj Sood, PhD, Director of the COVID Initiative at USC Schaeffer Center. “We are evaluating the potential for Gauss’s technology to identify infections among asymptomatic first responders and then to hopefully explore its use in the larger community.”
“Testing is an essential tool for combating COVID-19 and we are inspired by the efforts of so many that are being directed to combat this virus,” Gauss CEO Siddarth Satish said. “The additional capital enables us to accelerate our efforts towards bringing a rapid antigen test to market, and helps us support our academic collaborators in critical, large-scale public health studies that can help us better combat the pandemic.”