NobleReach Emerge & LightDeck

NobleReach supported LightDeck Diagnostics in their go-to-market strategy and helped them navigate through the regulatory processes

The Challenge

LightDeck Diagnostics, a biotechnology research company, received multiple Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to develop its planar waveguide technology for immunoassay testing. The company’s device is portable, uses disposable test cartridges, and can provide rapid, highly sensitive diagnostics outside of laboratory settings.

During the pandemic, LightDeck Diagnostic leveraged government funds to develop a fast and effective COVID-19 test. LightDeck’s technology can also be used to assess cardiac markers in less than 15 minutes for patients with chest pain, provide full hormonal panels, examine biomarkers for sepsis and immune reactions, test for toxins in water, and provide various veterinary diagnostics.

Though LightDeck Diagnostics’ founding team was technically talented, they had limited expertise in medical commercialization or the FDA approval process.

Entrepreneur Support

LightDeck Diagnostics sought assistance in navigating federal regulatory processes and developing a go-to-market strategy.

Carrie Mulherin, a field-proven entrepreneur in medical startups who navigated the merger between MBio and Brava Diagnostics that formed LightDeck Diagnostics, lent her expertise. As an embedded entrepreneur, Mulherin:

  • Conducted comprehensive strategic market analysis
  • Initiated Research Use Only sales with military medicine sites
  • Assisted in applying for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in 2020 for biomarkers of hospitalization and ventilator risk in COVID-19 patients
  • Helped LightDeck launch a COVID-19 antigen test point-of-care clinical study in 2021

Following the commercialization strategy laid out by Mulherin, LightDeck Diagnostics was able to secure $11 million in Series B funding with US investors and was awarded a $5.6 million BARDA contract in 2021. Additionally, the company was awarded a $35.1 million DoD contract to build a manufacturing facility in Colorado, significantly increasing its production capacity for COVID-19 point-of-care tests.

LightDeck Diagnostics was acquired for $38.7 million and continues to innovate and expand its reach in the biotech industry. Today, the company’s technology is used to assess cardiac markers, hormonal panels, biomarkers for sepsis and immune reactions, toxins in water, and various veterinary diagnostics.