Tasso simplifies blood draws, awarded $3M expansion

ADISON, Wis., April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 

Tasso, Inc., a medtech start-up developing the HemoLink™, a small disposable device to simplify blood sampling, has secured an additional $2.9M in grant funding to advance its HemoLink technology with its development partner GenTegra LLC.

Based on progress made in developing the HemoLink, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has expanded Tasso's ongoing Phase II SBIR contract. Tasso and GenTegra are developing an integrated device that is able to collect blood from patients and stabilize biomarkers at ambient temperatures without requiring cold chain transportation. The stabilization component of the grant is a $1.3M allocation to GenTegra LLC, whose Matrix Chaperone™ technology is redefining the boundaries of ambient sample stabilization.

Dr. Erwin Berthier, VP of Tasso and principal investigator on the contract, emphasized, "This is a disruptive technology that will enable connecting anyone in the world - from home, rural areas, low resource locations, or war zones - to a centralized blood analysis laboratory, providing affordable cutting edge diagnostics to everyone."

The HemoLink device safely collects blood from the surface of the skin, effectively replacing the need for venipuncture across a broad number of diagnostic tests.  The Matrix Chaperone stabilizes biospecimens at a broad range of ambient temperatures in order to preserve the vast diagnostic data offered by a blood sample. This combination of disruptive technologies fundamentally changes the way blood testing is done, replacing hospital-centric testing with testing focused on the user. Tasso President, Ben Moga states, "Together, this powerful HemoLink-Matrix Chaperone combination will modernize the diagnostic process by providing superior and affordable 'in home' and 'point of care' access to healthcare."

Bruce Jamieson, CEO of GenTegra, offers, "GenTegra is pleased to be working with the innovative HemoLink device that Tasso is developing as an alternative to venipuncture blood collection. As a part of the HemoLink device our stabilization chemistry, Matrix Chaperone, stabilizes the blood in dry form for convenient shipping and any queue time at the clinical lab while waiting for diagnostic testing. The temperature range that is protected coincides with commercial carriers' specifications, enabling the shipment of specimens in a simple mailer - free from cold chain requirements. The combination of a simple blood collection device and stabilization of the specimen at ambient temperatures will open many possibilities for new innovative 'in home' and 'point-of-care' sample collection scenarios."

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Arna Ionescu Stoll