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By Jondi Gumz
Three biotech companies based at Startup Sandbox in Santa Cruz are working on faster tests for the contagious coronavirus COVID-19, which has caused six deaths in Santa Cruz County and shutdowns that cripple the local economy.
They are competing with others such as Quidel in San Diego and Becton Dickinson in New Jersey, which already have emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and produce results in 15 minutes – much faster than the so-called PCR, which require lab processing with a turnaround time at Quest Diagnostics of two to three days, and it has been longer.
One of the local companies, SanguineDx, was founded in 2010 and is headed by medical device veteran David Sierra of Aptos.
Another is Ontera, which started out as Two Pore Guys in 2011, raised $32.6 million in funding, and changed names a year ago.
The third is PinPoint Science, founded in 2017 and headed by Lisa Diamond, a tech veteran who holds two patents for novel molecular diagnostics.
All three made presentations Aug. 5 at the virtual Biotech Startups event hosted by Santa Cruz Works, the nonprofit supporting the local tech community.
David Sierra, SanguineDx CEO, said the company has a …
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