HARTFORD—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced on Wednesday that innovator Tangen Biosciences in Branford has been named “Innovator of the Month.” Founded in 2013 by two Connecticut natives, Tangen’s goal has been to bring high quality molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases out of the laboratory and closer to the patient, including remote, rural, and underserved communities. Tangen has developed a portable molecular diagnostic instrument called GeneSpark, an instrument designed to utilize low cost manufacturing and simple to use for point-of-care settings. The instrument utilizes the TangenDx platform technology that can rapidly detect up to 32 pathogens from one patient sample.
As COVID-19 started to spread in the U.S., Tangen pivoted its product development focus to spearhead a point-of-care COVID-19 test. In the coming weeks, Tangen will bring its rapid and highly sensitive point-of-care COVID-19 test to launch. Beyond COVID-19, Tangen is working on a Flu/COVID-19 Panel that can detect Flu A, Flu B, and COVID-19 simultaneously from one patient sample in a single processing run, so that patients with flu-like symptoms will know whether they have flu or COVID-19 infection. In July, Tangen closed $12.2 million in Series B financing, which was used to scale up the manufacturing capacity for Tangen’s COVID-19 test.
“Tangen is Connecticut innovation at its best. Since its founding, Tangen has worked tirelessly to make diagnosis easy for patients and doctors, and the company has stepped up in a major way to help our country in the fight against COVID-19. For us to be on the other side of this pandemic, it is going to take the ingenuity and resources of everyone, and Tangen’s innovative and forward thinking COVID-19 and flu tests will go a long way in helping us manage those viruses and get our country back on track. I’m proud to highlight the wonderful staff at Tangen, and I look forward to watching this company continue to grow in Connecticut,” said Murphy.
"We built the GeneSpark to deliver portable point of care results with all the power of the best laboratory bound instruments. These features combined with a cloud based LIMS software from our partner LabWare has enabled the perfect tool to fight the Covid virus - a highly accurate 30 minute result communicated while the patient is there with immediate dissemination of the result to public health authorities. We appreciate the recognition of Murphy's Innovator of the Month award and are excited to see our technology go to work in the fight against the pandemic," said John Davidson, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Tangen.
The company has experienced fast growth in the last several years fueled by investments from Connecticut Innovations. Tangen grew from 6 employees in 2016 located in a 2,200 square foot office space to 51 employees today in a 16,000 square foot office, lab, and clean room manufacturing facility in Branford.
Murphy believes entrepreneurship and innovation are the building blocks for a strong economy. In the U.S. Senate, he has introduced two bipartisan pieces of legislation to incentivize angel investors to put more money into startup companies – the Angel Tax Credit Act and the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act. Startup companies create an average of 2 million jobs each year.