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CommentaryGeneral Science

OHC Member Series: John McDonough

By September 5, 2011February 21st, 2020No Comments

T2 Biosystems, by John McDonough, CEO

T2 Biosystems, in Lexington, MA, has developed molecular diagnostic tests and systems using our proprietary magnetic resonance-based detection platform that enable detection of disease directly in specimens such as whole blood. By eliminating the extensive sample preparation that every other system requires, the T2 instruments can be small and easy to use, and more important, disease can be detected much earlier than with the use of any other diagnostic system.

The first application of the T2 technology focuses on detecting a blood borne fungal infection called Candida. Although common forms of this yeast infection, such as thrush, are harmless in most people, systemic infections of the bloodstream and major organs, particularly in immunocompromised patients, affect over 90,000 people a year in the U.S. and carry a 40% mortality rate. Candida is a leading cause of sepsis and is the fourth leading cause of hospital acquired infections.

Today, the only way Candida sepsis can be detected is through blood cultures that take 2 to 5 days to process at a lab. If you could detect Candida in 12 hours, scientific studies have shown that the mortality rate could be reduced to 11% from 40%. T2 Biosystems recently released data on over 400 patient samples that show our panel of tests diagnoses Candida with over 99% concordance with blood culture, and our test results are available just 90 minutes after blood is drawn.

The Candida detection product is on track to be in clinical trials early next year with FDA clearance expected as early as late 2012. Development is also under way for additional diagnostic tests for bacterial detection, coagulation and a number of other areas where rapid diagnostic results can speed up the time to treat disease and significantly impact human life.

T2 Biosystems is a venture capital backed company with over $50 million raised to date, including $23 million which was closed in August, 2011. The company’s founders include prolific innovators from MIT and Mass General Hospital. Our website is

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