The Harvard University researchers who have developed an ultra-sensitive, PCR-grade nucleic acid detection technology plan to commercialize it as a portable COVID-19 test.
Harvard Medical School professor Peng Yin, who also leads the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering’s Molecular Robotics Initiative, founded 3EO Health to sell the device.
“To maximize the value of testing, tests must be easy to use, affordable, fast and accurate,” Yin said in a press release. “When it comes to home COVID testing, existing antigen testing is not sensitive and molecular testing is expensive. We have developed a simple and fast testing platform that promises to deliver PCR-level accuracy at an antigen-level cost.”
3EO Health has a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement for the technology through Harvard’s Office of Technology Development.
The CEO of 3EO Health is Jeremy Schubert, former vice president of the Abbott Diagnostics division. He is joined by members of Yin’s research team, including Thomas Schaus, the research director of 3EO.
“Our core technology for nucleic acid detection has evolved as a combination of biochemical and mechanical inventions,” Schaus said.
Yin’s team invented a molecular test to detect SARS-CoV-2 or other pathogens with high speed, sensitivity and specificity. The reusable base unit of the device uses pathogen-specific single-use consumables for testing. It was prototyped in Wyss and then 3EO Health integrated the test and device components and prepared the design for manufacturing, cost and reliability.
Yin said he hopes the platform will be useful for other infectious diseases and other applications. The company plans to add a digital health component to telehealth appointments and prescriptions.
Yin previously co-founded five other startups — Ultivue, NuProbe Global, Torus Biosystems, Spear Bio and Digital Biology — to commercialize technologies developed by his group at the Wyss Institute.
The name of 3EO stands for three values; Everyone, earliest chance and exceptional results.