H-P's "great-grandchild" gets $7.7M for portable diagnosis

Third-generation spinout Alverix, a San Jose, Calif., maker of hand-held devices for medical diagnostic use, raised $7.7 million in a first funding round. Safeguard Scientifics and New Venture Partners provided the cash.

The startup, which just spun out of Avago Technologies — itself a twice-removed spinout of Hewlett-Packard‘s component division by way of Agilent Technologies — has spent 30 years producing optoelectronic products of one sort or another. Its current focus lies in developing portable devices that analyze laboratory diagnostic tests, particularly for tasks that previously required expensive bench-top laboratory equipment.

Alverix says its devices are not only cheaper, but also more accurate and far quicker than traditional methods for reading results from various blood and urine tests. For instance, the company says its technology can handle analysis of widely used antibody-based tests for illegal drugs, cancer, infectious disease, heart trouble and drug efficacy. Its products should make it possible to run these tests in doctors’ offices, at health clinics and even potentially at home, allowing patients to get their results far more quickly and potentially making immediate treatment possible if the results indicate a problem.

Founded just last year, Alverix aims to form partnerships with existing diagnostic companies that want to improve the accuracy and portability of their test analysis. The company doesn’t appear to have announced any such partnerships yet, although of course it might simply be keeping any such news under wraps.